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Paolo Banchero scores 27 points, Magic overcome Mitchell’s 50 to beat Cavs 103-96 and force Game 7



Paolo Banchero scores 27 points, Magic overcome Mitchell's 50 to beat Cavs 103-96 and force Game 7

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Paolo Banchero and the quickly maturing Orlando Magic are rising up quick within the NBA playoffs.

The 21-year-old All-Star ahead scored 10 of his 27 factors within the fourth quarter Friday night time, serving to one of many NBA’s youngest groups overcome Donovan Mitchell’s 50 factors and maintain off the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-96 to drive a decisive Sport 7 of their first-round playoff sequence.

Three nights after scoring a profession postseason-best 39 on 14-of-24 taking pictures in a one-point highway loss that left the Magic on the point of elimination, Banchero put his crew on his again and carried them to their greatest win in years.

Franz Wagner had 26 factors and Jalen Suggs made six 3-pointers and completed with 22 for the Magic, who pulled away within the closing minutes, with Banchero hitting a 3-pointer that put Orlando forward for good at 92-89.

“We’ve undoubtedly discovered lots by this sequence, seeing what works and what doesn’t work,” Banchero stated. “Realizing what we’ve got to do to win a sport.”

Mitchell was magnificent for Cleveland, scoring all of his crew’s 18 factors within the fourth quarter. Darius Garland completed with 21, however finally the Cavs have been unable to beat poor 3-point taking pictures (7 of 28).

Sport 7 is Sunday in Cleveland, the place the Cavs received Video games 1, 2 and 5 and clearly play higher than on the highway, the place they’ve dropped seven straight playoff video games relationship to a LeBron James-led Sport 7 victory at Boston within the 2018 Jap Convention finals.

“I’m excited. It’s a do-or-die state of affairs, so we’ll must put collectively one other particular effort,” Banchero stated, looking forward to Sunday.

The Cavs haven’t received a postseason sequence since then. The Magic, within the playoffs for the primary time since 2020, are searching for their first sequence win in 14 years.

“Our guys will likely be prepared for the second,” Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff stated. “They’ve been actually good at house and we don’t count on that to vary.”

Orlando improved from 22 wins in 2021-22, its first season underneath coach Jamahl Mosley, to 34 final yr and 47 with a Southeast Division title this season.

“Being on the highway for Sport 7, the flexibility to return collectively and proceed to develop every sport, I feel that’s what this group is wanting ahead to,” Mosley added. “It’s not going to be straightforward, nor do we would like it to be straightforward. The more durable it’s, the higher we will likely be.”

Orlando took Video games 3 and 4 by a mixed 61 factors, but got here out Friday night time with a barely totally different look, inserting ahead Jonathan Isaac into the beginning lineup and shifting Wagner from ahead to protect to place 4 6-foot-10 gamers on the ground on the identical time.

With middle Jarrett Allen out for the second consecutive sport due to a bruised rib, the Cavs slid ahead Evan Mobley to middle and began Marcus Morris Sr. after the 34-year-old got here off the bench to attain 12 factors and elevate Cleveland’s degree of physicality.

The Cavs trailed 53-49 on the half and have been lucky the deficit wasn’t bigger, contemplating that they had misfired on 13 of 14 3-point makes an attempt.

With an aggressive Mitchell and Garland seemingly driving to the basket at will, Cleveland transformed 22 of 32 photographs contained in the arc and wound up taking pictures 50% total (23 of 46) earlier than the break to remain shut.

They lastly heated up from lengthy vary within the third quarter, with Mitchell and Max Strus making 3-pointers throughout a 17-4 surge to start the interval. The Magic trailed by as many as 9 earlier than closing inside 78-73 heading into the fourth quarter.

Mitchell completed 22 of 36 from the sector, together with three of 9 on 3-points makes an attempt. He scored Cleveland’s closing 22 factors, together with all 18 within the fourth quarter.

“We did an awesome job of staying collectively and we have been all locked in, however finally we didn’t find yourself with the victory, so we simply must go house and maintain enterprise,” Mitchell stated. “We didn’t win the sport. On the finish of the day, I had 50 however we misplaced.”


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