Paolo Banchero Guides Magic To Thrilling Win Over Cavs, Forces Game 7

Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Paolo Banchero‘s 27-point performance, including 10 crucial points in the fourth quarter, propelled the Orlando Magic to a 103-96 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night, forcing a decisive Game 7 in their first-round NBA playoff series.

Despite Donovan Mitchell‘s remarkable 50-point effort, the Magic’s well-rounded attack and stout team defense proved too much for the Cavaliers to overcome. Mitchell single-handedly scored all 18 of Cleveland’s points in the fourth quarter, but his teammates struggled to find their footing.

“We’ve definitely learned a lot through this series, seeing what works and what doesn’t work,” Banchero said. “Knowing what we have to do to win a game. We’re excited for the challenge.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers Updates

The Magic’s bench outscored the Cavaliers’ bench 23-10, with Jonathan Isaac making a significant impact in his starting role. Franz Wagner added 26 points, and Jalen Suggs contributed 22 points and six 3-pointers.

“He was going, but the other guys didn’t have it going as much,” Magic coach Jamahl 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.”

The Cavaliers struggled from beyond the arc, shooting a dismal 7-of-28 from 3-point range, and committed 13 turnovers, including eight in the fourth quarter. The Magic capitalized on these mistakes, scoring 17 points off turnovers and using their speed and agility to outmaneuver the Cavaliers.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers Updates

The series shifts to Cleveland for Game 7 on Sunday. The Cavaliers have won Games 1, 2, and 5 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The Magic seek to overcome playing on the road to achieve their first series win in 14 years.

“I’m excited. It’s a do-or-die situation, so we’ll have to put together another special effort,” Banchero said.

Mitchell called for his team to attempt 30 to 40 3s per game, emphasizing the importance of maximizing floor spacing against Orlando’s tough half-court defense.

“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.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers Updates

The Magic are confident in their ability to win on the road and seek their first playoff series win since 2009, while the Cavaliers aim to advance to the second round for the first time since 2018. Game 7 promises to be an intense and physical battle, with both teams giving it their all to achieve victory.

Want the latest NBA analysis, breaking news, and insider information? Click Here. Follow NBA Analysis Network on Twitter and Facebook.

Interested in reading the latest storylines and analysis in the NFL? Check out our partner NFL Analysis Network.

Clippers Faced ‘Challenges’ Dealing With Russell Westbrook; Likely To Part Ways

The Los Angeles Clippers’ offseason plans are taking shape after another shortened NBA postseason—this time caused by losing in six games to the Dallas Mavericks

Lakers Trying To Hire Jason Kidd Away From Mavs

Following their recent NBA playoff elimination, the Los Angeles Lakers are once again in the spotlight for their coaching decisions. After parting ways with their

Giannis Antetokounmpo Breaks Silence After Milwaukee Bucks Playoff Exit

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo revealed he was nowhere near ready to return from a left calf strain during the NBA playoffs, expressing frustration over