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Cavs Win First Round Series 4-3 Over Magic

Cavs win first round series
Photo via Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Oh. – It started off rough. It started off looking like the Cavs would be sending 19,432 people home upset and there would be all kinds of things happening in the coming days. And maybe the Cavs will do that later, but today, the Cavs showed a resilience they didn’t show last year as they defeated the Orlando Magic, 106-94 to win their first, playoff series without Lebron James since 1993.

The Cavs started off the game 0-9 from three. They were shooting 27% from the field. But they didn’t stop plugging away. Donovan Mitchell said, “I just felt as long as we stayed right where we were, we could make a move” At that time, the Cavs had trimmed the Magic lead to 10, down from 18. There was a smattering of boos throughout the arena, and it looked like the series was going to go another way. But Caris LeVert and Sam Merrill provided the scoring the Cavs needed.

LeVert came in for Darius Garland because of foul trouble. Sam Merrill came in because Coach JB Bickerstaff was desperate to find anyone who could provide a spark. Donovan Mitchell was doing what he needed to do as the star, but there wasn’t much else happening. And then, LeVert hit a layup. Merrill hit two threes, and suddenly, the Cavs were only down 10 at the half and in the third quarter they came out on a mission.

Photo via Cleveland Cavaliers

The third quarter was where the game turned to the Cavs favor. For context, the score at the end of the third was Donovan Mitchell 17, Orlando Magic 15. In a series where third quarters have been a struggle for the Cavs, led by Mitchell, completely locked down and dominated the quarter winning it 33-15. Mitchell was brilliant as it started to look like he just refused to allow the Cavs to lose. But Orlando wasn’t going all the way away. It wasn’t until a Darius Garland corner three late in the fourth that really was the dagger and propelled the Cavs into the second round to face the league best Boston Celtics.

Photo via Cleveland Cavaliers

It wasn’t easy. This team needed to win like this. They know there is a perception of them around the league and even some of the fans. But they aren’t worried about it. They will go out and do what they are supposed to do and see what happens. Boston went 2-1 against the Cavs during the regular season. Mitchell said after the game, “ I know everyone thinks we’re going to get our ass kicked against Boston, so for us to stay levelheaded and just be who we are, that’s the biggest thing.” 

Bring on Boston.


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