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Donovan Mitchell Guides Cavaliers to Victory in Game 1 Against Magic

Published April 20, 2024 at 4:16 PM
BY KEVIN BARREAU
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In Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series, the Cleveland Cavaliers showcased their strength as Donovan Mitchell's 30-point performance, coupled with Jarrett Allen's 18 rebounds, secured a solid 97-83 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Evan Mobley contributed 16 points to Cleveland's winning effort, a team that endured a humbling exit in just five games at the hands of the New York Knicks during the 2023 postseason. The Cavs entered this playoff series with a renewed sense of confidence, bolstered by increased depth and relatively good health following a regular season marred by injuries.

Despite grappling with a left knee bone bruise for the past two months, Mitchell exhibited his All-Star caliber, emerging as Cleveland's primary offensive force for much of the game. On the opposing end, Orlando's Paolo Banchero put up an admirable 24 points in his playoff debut but struggled with turnovers, amassing nine over the course of the game. The Magic's offensive woes were further compounded by their shooting woes, as they managed just a 33% field goal percentage, partly due to Cleveland's stout defense.

The Magic's playoff aspirations took an early hit as they faced a daunting task against the Cavs, especially with the home crowd energizing Cleveland's performance. Despite making strides defensively and limiting Cleveland's three-point shooting after the initial barrage, Orlando struggled to find their rhythm offensively, shooting a paltry 32.6% from the field and a dismal 21.6% from beyond the arc. Additionally, their struggles extended to the free-throw line, where they converted just 19 of 30 attempts.


Cleveland's dominance was evident from the opening tip-off, as they landed the first punch with a flurry of three-pointers, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Mitchell's buzzer-beating three-pointer exemplified their determination, allowing the Cavs to establish a commanding 12-point lead early on.

Source TSN : Mitchell powers Cavaliers in tough-minded win over Magic in Game 1
Source Sports Illustrated : Magic Offense Struggles Mightily in Game 1 Loss vs. Cavs
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