Cavs Defeat Magic, 106-94, in Game 7

In a Game 6 loss to the Orlando Magic, Donovan Mitchell scored 50 of Cleveland’s 96 points. On Sunday, Mitchell put together another high-scoring game — and this time, the Cavaliers pulled out the victory.

While Mitchell struggled from the field Sunday afternoon — shooting 11-of-27 from the field — he hit 15-of-17 free throws and paced the Cavs with 39 points. Every single point was important as the Cavs trailed by 18 in the first half. Mitchell’s offensive explosion over the last two games of the series was the second-most prolific scoring output in Games 6 and 7 in NBA history. Mitchell’s 89 points trail only Allen Iverson’s 90-point two-game effort in 2001.

“I’m tired of losing in the first round,” Mitchell said. “You work too hard. We work too hard. That was my mindset … for me, just be in attack mode. I’m battling through what I’m battling through, but I could battle through it and figure it out, or rehab it for the next three or four months. That’s where I’m at mentally.”

Mitchell and the Cavs overcame an 18-point deficit and largely owned the final 30 minutes of action. From the midway point of the second quarter through the end of the third, Mitchell outscored Orlando 20-19. The Cavs trailed by 10 at halftime but led by eight going into the fourth quarter after outscoring Orlando 33-15 coming out of the half.

“[Mitchell is] the guy that can pull everybody along, not just with his skill but in spirit as well,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “When you see your teammate, a guy you care about playing that way, you don’t want to let that guy down so you go out and do whatever you can to help that guy. We talk about how everybody has their style and their piece of leadership here and that’s how Don leads, by being special in the moment. His teammates want to be a part of it.”

Cleveland will have no time to celebrate its first series victory since 2018, as Game 1 against the top-seed Boston Celtics is Tuesday night.