Cavaliers Best Magic in Game 7, Advance to Face Celtics in Round 2

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In a series where the home team held serve throughout, the Cleveland Cavaliers handled business in their winner-take-all clash with the Orlando Magic.

After trailing by 18, Donovan Mitchell, whose 39 points paced all scorers, and a more resistant defense, led by Isaac Okoro slowing Paolo Banchero and Evan Mobley’s rim protection, the hosts dictated terms in the second half at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday, pulling away in the final frame.

The Cavaliers completing the largest comeback in a Game 7, rallying for a 106-94 victory, sets up an Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Boston Celtics.

Boston won its regular season series vs. Cleveland 2-1. However, the last time these two teams squared off, the Celtics let their guard down and blew a 22-point lead in the fourth quarter.

But that 105-104 loss was in early March; the team atop the NBA standings maintained a business-like approach in its first-round rivalry clash against the Miami Heat, with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown noting the Celtics’ maturation after advancing to the conference semifinals in five games.

Now they’ll face a Cavaliers team that finished 48-34 in the regular season, earning the fourth seed in the East. 

Cleveland ranked 20th in points per game in the regular season, averaging 112.6, and had trouble offensively against the Magic, who allowed the fourth-fewest points per contest in the 2023-24 campaign, yielding 108.4.

However, the Cavaliers were seventh in that category, surrendering only 110.2 points per game. Although, they may start the second round without Jarrett Allen, their former All-Star center who’s dealing with a rib fracture that sidelined him for the final three matchups against Orlando.

Boston is also shorthanded up front, working without Kristaps Porzingis, who spoke on Saturday at the Auerbach Center about the soleus strain in his right calf that may render him inactive for this series vs. Cleveland.

Game 1 between the Celtics and Cavaliers will tip off on Tuesday night at TD Garden at 7:00 EST.

Here’s a look at the entire schedule for the series.

Further Reading

Kristaps Porzingis Discusses Target Date to Rejoin Celtics’ Playoff Run: ‘Doing Everything I Can’

Jayson Tatum Details How Celtics Combatting Opponents Trying to Out-Tough Them

Maturity a Source of Confidence for Celtics: ‘We’re Graduating’

Celtics Discuss Added Significance of Eliminating Heat: ‘Wanted to Play Miami’

The Latest on Celtics’ Center Kristaps Porzingis’ Calf Injury Timetable

Derrick White Praises Teammates for Career Night: ‘Credit Goes to Them’

‘Burned Inside’: Kristaps Porzingis Bounces Back from ‘Worst Game as a Celtic’

Celtics Right the Wrongs of Game 2 to Take 2-1 Lead Over Heat

Jayson Tatum Discusses First-Career Playoff Triple-Double: ‘A Beautiful Game’

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