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Cavs at Magic, Game 4 Recap

*** In the second quarter of Saturday’s Game 4 matchup in Orlando, the Cavaliers posted their most productive period of the postseason – scoring 37 points and shooting 72 percent as a team with three different players netting 10 points apiece. Then … the third quarter happened. In that fateful 12-minute span after intermission, Cleveland managed just 10 points as a team while the Magic put up 37 of their own, quickly erasing the Cavs’ nine-point halftime edge and pulling away for the second straight lopsided decision in the series – winning, 112-89, to tie the First Round series at two games apiece. 

*** The third quarter spelled doom for the Cavs on Saturday – and they’ve now been outscored in that period, 72-26, over the past two games – but the fourth wasn’t that much better in Game 4. Overall, Cleveland scored just 29 points after the break, with Orlando shooting 58 percent from the floor, including 53 percent from deep, in the second stanza. Overall, the Magic shot 56 percent from the field, outrebounded the Cavaliers, 43-29 – including an 8-2 edge on the offensive glass – and saw their second unit outscore Cleveland’s, 43-15. 

*** Coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Saturday’s one-sided decision. “It’s a best of three series, and we’ve got two games in Cleveland. So, our responsibility is to take the next game as it comes, be ready to go on Tuesday. We’ve got some things that we need to correct. Obviously, we’ll take the next couple days, correct those things and be ready to go.”

*** Like most of the Cavaliers, Jarrett Allen had a solid first half, but couldn’t find it again after intermission – scoring 16 of his team-high 21 points and grabbing seven of his nine rebounds in the opening two periods. On the night, Allen was 8-of-11 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the stripe in 28 minutes of work. 

*** Donovan Mitchell fared even worse in the second stanza on Saturday – going scoreless after piling up 18 points before the break. Mitchell was 5-of-10 from the floor in the opening half, but missed all four attempts from there, adding a game-high-tying six assists and leading both teams with three steals. 

*** Mitchell discussed his personal struggle with putting two halves together. “Even in the wins, it's been two different halves for me. So, it's not like we came on the road and this just started happening. I did the same thing at home. So, just continuing to watch the film and just be better. I have to just be better. Simple as that.”

*** Darius Garland chipped in with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting and was the only Cavalier to can multiple three-pointers, going 2-of-5 from long-range to go with three boards, a blocked shot and a game-high-tying six assists. 

*** Evan Mobley scored 10 of his 14 points in the second period, going 6-of-13 from the floor overall, adding a team-high-tying nine rebounds to go with three assists, a pair of steals and two of Cleveland’s three blocks on the afternoon. 

*** Orlando was paced by a dominant Franz Wagner, who finished with 34 points – a series-high for either team – on 13-of-17 shooting, including 2-of-3 from deep and 6-of-7 from the stripe, and leading both teams with 13 boards to go with four assists and a block. 

*** While the Wine & Gold have taken two straight on the chin, history is still on their side with two of the next three games set for Cleveland. The Cavaliers as a franchise are 16-0 all-time after taking a 2-0 lead a Playoff series. 

*** When Tristan Thompson checked in for the first time late in the third quarter of Saturday’s contest, he moved into second place on the Cavaliers all-time list of Playoff appearances, playing in his 80th postseason contest with Cleveland, surpassing J.R. Smith. 

*** Georges Niang put things into perspective in the postgame locker room. “This is the playoffs, so you can’t dwell. Their job was to come in and protect home court. Now, we have to go home and protect our home court. Obviously, it sucks. You want to win games on the road so that you can get off your feet and take care of a series. But this is a dog fight, and we knew that, and we’re going to have to go home and take care of business.”

After dropping Game 4 on Saturday afternoon, the Wine & Gold return home for Game 5 on Tuesday night and will now head back to Orlando next Friday for Game 6. If the series goes the distance, Game 7 goes down the following Sunday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.


The Reporter Newspaper
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