NBA

NBA: Magic survive 'special' Mitchell onslaught to force series decider in Cleveland

By Sports Desk May 04, 2024

The Orlando Magic survived a "special" Donovan Mitchell showing to overcome the Cleveland Cavaliers and force Game 7 in the NBA Playoffs.

Mitchell posted 50 points but that was not enough for the Cavaliers, who will have home advantage on Sunday in the winner-takes-all decider after their 103-96 loss in Game 6.

Mitchell's half-century haul tied for the second most in a loss in a potential series clincher in NBA history, according to ESPN.

Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley was quick to heap praise on Mitchell as Orlando edged through to a series decider.

"He was going, but the other guys didn't have it going as much," Mosley said. "No one overreacted [to Mitchell]. He's a special, special player.

"To be able to have 50 and only make three 3s, that's very special. But our ability not to overreact or panic to what was happening because we continued to share it, move it, trust each other."

Mitchell scored all his team’s 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of 3s.

The Cavaliers star fell one point shy of matching the franchise playoff scoring record set by LeBron James, who had 51 in May 2018 against Golden State in the NBA Finals.

"We missed shots. Mine went in, but if it's not 50 maybe it's 60 or whatever it is," Mitchell said. "Maybe it's 30-10-10, whatever the game calls for. It is what it is.

"We didn't win the game. If I had 20 more, we would be up 20 more. Whatever the game calls for, it's my job to figure it out."

Cleveland won Games 1, 2 and 5 but Mitchell says previous encounters will be meaningless come the decider.

"All of the stuff you've done for six games all goes out the window," Mitchell said. "It's all about desperation and will.

"It's going to be just like tonight – find ways to continually be relentless. I have no doubt that we'll show up."

Franz Wagner had 26 points and Jalen Suggs added 22 for the Magic, who have not won a series for 14 years.

"Anything they have done to try and throw us off our game, knock us off balance, we've responded to it," Suggs said.

"We didn't want to end it here, and I think we all found comfort in that – in understanding how much pressure, you can call it, is on this game. But it was just another game for all of us."

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