Cleveland Oh. – The Cavs beat the Orlando Magic on Wednesday Night, 121-111. The Cavs never trailed even though the Magic made runs, the Cavs were able to keep them at bay. The Cavs were led by Donovan Mitchell who scored 35 points in the first three quarters. Darius Garland chipped in 26 points and 9 assist with no turnovers, which has been cause for concern lately. Garland was very happy with the zero turnover stat and when asked about it, he smiled and said, “I threw the ball to my teammates.”
It was a fun night most of the night. Any time an NBA team makes a whooping two three pointers in a game, that’s a fun night. The Magic didn’t make a three in the first half and ended the night shooting 8.7% from distance. The Cavs are known as a team that protects the paint, so it was especially nice to see the Magic not be able to hit from outside.
The Cavs got out to a fast start building a 17-point lead in the first quarter. The second quarter saw the Magic shoot 17 free throws which closed the gap slightly, but the Cavs were able to stay in somewhat of a groove. To a man, after the game the general feeling was that the free throws given away need to stop. Coach JB Bickerstaff said “They shot 17 free throws in the second quarter, and that just makes the game ugly. And it gives a team that was down an opportunity to claw back.” And the Magic did claw back. But not enough. The Cavs ended the half up 65-52.
The second half was the Paolo Banchero show. Last year’s number 1 pick scored a career high 42 points and in an array of midrange shots caused the Cavs issues. But Mitchell, Garland, and Max Strus were able to hold the Magic off with timely shots. Garland scored 20 in the second half, and really shut the door in the fourth quarter with layups and drives to end the game and put the Magic away.
The Cavs players and coaches were happy with the win, but as Mitchell said repeatedly, “Its one game.” They will need to continue this as they come up on a rough stretch. They play on the road, the Heat, Magic and two games against the Celtics. This is the time to start grabbing wins. The time for “its early” is now over. We are 21 games into the season. In the words of Mitchell, “The Time is Now.”
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