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Cavaliers, Magic gear up for ‘best two words in sports’: Game 7



Cavaliers, Magic gear up for 'best two words in sports': Game 7

Donovan Mitchell’s 50-point outburst in Recreation 6 wasn’t sufficient to avert the 149th Recreation 7 in NBA historical past.

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Donovan Mitchell pushed himself to his bodily limits, leaving every little thing he had on the ground whereas making an attempt to shut out the precocious Orlando Magic.

Cleveland’s star got here up quick. He will get one other shot.

Yet one more. Recreation 7.

“Finest two phrases in sports activities,” Mitchell stated late Friday evening.

Unable to discover a method to win on the street, the Cavs and Magic will settle their collection on Sunday (1 ET, ABC) in a becoming winner-take-all finale between two groups which have put their strengths and weaknesses on public show for six video games.

Just one advances to face the Boston Celtics, the beasts of the Jap Convention who might be well-rested for whichever workforce escapes this Cavs-Magic stalemate.

For Mitchell, who scored 50 factors — together with Cleveland’s closing 22 and all 18 within the fourth quarter — throughout his virtuoso efficiency in Friday evening’s 103-96 loss in Recreation 6, every little thing that has occurred previous to that is nearly meaningless, an prolonged opening act.

“All of the stuff you’ve carried out for six video games actually goes out the window. It’s all about desperation and can,” he stated. “How do we discover methods to repeatedly be relentless. I’ve little question that we’ll present up. I’ve little question Cleveland will present up.”

It could assist Mitchell if a couple of extra of his teammates confirmed up.

He was nearly alone for lengthy stretches in Recreation 6 whereas making an attempt to push the Cavs throughout the end line and win a playoff collection with out LeBron James for the primary time since 1993.

Mitchell did it on a cranky left knee that flared up all through the second half, however barely slowed him. However whereas he did his half and backcourt mate Darius Garland added 21 factors, the remainder of Cleveland’s lineup, which was lacking heart Jarrett Allen because of a rib harm, contributed solely 25 on 10-of-33 capturing.

Cavs ahead Evan Mobley, whose block on Franz Wagner within the closing seconds sealed Cleveland’s one-point win in Recreation 5, scored simply three factors on 5 pictures and struggled after rolling his ankle within the first half.

Mobley was noticeably limping after the sport.

The Magic capitalized on the Cavs’ frontline shortcomings and dominated inside, outscoring Cleveland 66-38 within the paint and profitable the rebound battle 48-38. Taking part in with customary aggression, Orlando additionally loved a disparity on the free-throw line with 26 makes an attempt to Cleveland’s 10 — a spot more likely to shrink on the street.

And whereas a lot of that is new to the Magic, who gained simply 22 video games two years in the past and 34 final yr, there’s a quiet confidence in a younger workforce being pressured to develop up rapidly.

The stage hasn’t overwhelmed Orlando thus far, and coach Jamahl Mosley believes his workforce is able to face the final word win-or-else state of affairs.

“These guys bear in mind what acquired them right here,” Mosley stated. “Clearly, they do perceive the magnitude. However we’ve additionally been the identical workforce all yr, the best way through which we play, what we’ve known as for and requested them to do — play with a way of urgency each single evening, play onerous each single evening, play for one another each single evening, defend at a excessive clip.

“It doesn’t change, it doesn’t matter what the sport.”

That definitely appears to be the case for Magic ahead Paolo Banchero, who scored 39 in Recreation 5, 27 in Recreation 6 and is averaging 25.2 factors in his first playoff collection.

The 21-year-old has been seemingly unfazed by the highlight, which is about to get brighter and hotter than something he and his teammates have skilled.

Banchero is assured the Magic gained’t shrink.

“No person actually believed in us a pair years in the past and final yr, however we believed in one another and that’s all we might inform one another, that we all know what we had been able to as a bunch,” he stated. “The truth that we’re doing it’s superior.”

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