Cavs vs Magic Game 1 score, highlights: Cavaliers top Orlando Magic to take series lead

CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers have won their opening game in the the NBA playoffs after crashing and burning a year ago during the first round. The fourth-seeded Cavs took down the fifth-seeded Orlando Magic 97-83 in Game 1 Saturday afternoon at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Cleveland led wire-to-wire.

All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell scored a game-high 30 points. Jarrett Allen finished with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Evan Mobley had 16 points — all in the first half — and 11 rebounds. Game 2 is set for Monday night.

Here’s how Saturday’s game unfolded.

Cavaliers en route to winning Game 1 over Orlando Magic

That’ll do it. Darius Garland ran the shot clock all the way down and then nailed a 3-pointer from th eelbow, and Donovan Mitchell drew an offensive foul at the other end.

The Cavs are up 97-81 with less than a minute to go.

Donovan Mitchell 3-pointer puts Cavs up 14 over Magic

Donovan Mitchell might have just about hit the dagger in Game 1.

After Mitchell dove into a crowd for a loose ball on the defensive end, Darius Garland found him wide open for a 3-pointer at the other end, and Mitchell drained it to put the Cavs up 88-74 with 4:44 to go.

Mitchell now has a game-high 26 points. Darius Garland has only nine points, but he’s also dished out eight assists.

Shortly after Darius Garland was fouled and reached for his back. He’s remaining in the game, but he’s also clearly dealing with some discomfort.

Isaac Okoro injury: Okoro remains after Moritz Wagner falls on him

Mortiz Wagner again.

Wagner has been chippy all day. This one looks inadvertent, but while going for a loose ball, Wager effectively fell on Okoro’s head. Okoro stayed down for a few minutes and is now on the bench being looked at by team trainers.

A few moments later, Wagner was found open in transition for a dunk, and he yelled at Donovan Mitchell while flexing. The Cavs lead 78-66.

Below is information on the third quarter.

Cavaliers lead Magic 73-58 entering fourth quarter

That wasn’t the best 12 minutes of basketball for the Cavs, but this Magic offense just looks completely out of sorts. Orlando is shooting just 30 percent from the floor and 18.5 percent from 3-point range. That’s “oof” range.

The Cavs will enter the fourth quarter with a 15-point advantage against the worst 3-point shooting team in the league. They’ve put themselves in a great spot.

Caris LeVert somehow converts 2-and-1 with hard contact

Caris LeVert pretty much just got tackled but still got a transition layup to fall, and he hit the layup after it, to give the Cavs a 73-58 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Myles Garrett is in the building, and that was a takedown that even he’d be proud of.

LeVert hit back-to-back layups to lead the Cavs on a nice little run to end the quarter.

Donovan Mitchell, Georges Niang bailing out Cavaliers offense; Cleveland lead back to double digits over Orlando Magic

The Cavs offense hasn’t played that well in this third quarter, but Donovan Mitchell and Georges Niang have kept the Magic at bay.

Mitchell just found Niang for a 3-pointer. Niang hit it, and then pointed to the Magic bench as he jogged back to the bench for a timeout. Niang has embodied the Cavs’ goals of bringing a new level of toughness to these playoffs so far.

The Cavs now lead 66-56 with 2:32 left in the third quarter.

Darius Garland returns to game after being treated on the bench; Cavs lead the Magic 55-50

Garland only missed roughly two minutes and is checking back into the game.

It appears as though he’s in some discomfort, but not enough to force his exit from the game for long.

The refs have been letting both sides play a bit, with the usual added roughness that comes with playoff basketball. But Garland’s status is now something for the Cavs to monitor.

Darius Garland out with possible back injury in third quarter against Magic

Darius Garland might be dealing with a back issue. During a recent timeout, he appeared to be stretching out his back on the floor. Only three minutes into the third quarter, Garland has checked out of the game and has a personal trainer working on his back on the bench with that looks to be a heating pad of some sort.

Caris LeVert checked into the game in Garland’s place.

Meanwhile, the Magic have cut further into the Cavs’ lead, which is now down to 55-50.

Magic open third quarter on 6-2 run to cut into Cavs lead

The Magic are really struggling to find enough offensive firepower to keep pace, but the Cavs going cold has helped in that regard.

The Magic have opened the third on a 6-2 run — though it included one shot in which Franz Wagner hit the side of the backboard entirely — to chip away at the Cavs’ lead, which now sits at 55-47.

Multiple turnovers for the Cavs, and a bit of an energy drop from the first half, has prompted J.B. Bickerstaff to call a timeout and regroup.

Below is some information about the second quarter.

Cavs lead Magic 53-41 at halftime

The Cavs led the Magic 53-41 at halftime.

Forward Evan Mobley had a game-high 16 points for the Cavs through two quarters. Mitchell added 14 points. Center Jarrett Allen had 11 to go along with a game-high eight rebounds.

Banchero paced the Magic with 11 points. Forward Franz Wagner added eight.

The Cavs shot 19 of 39 (48.7%) from the field (5 of 16 on 3-pointers) in the first half. The Magic were 13 of 41 (31.7%) from the floor (2 of 16 on 3-pointers).

The Cavs outrebounded the Magic 22-19 in the first half and held a 12-point halftime lead despite missing 11 consecutive 3-pointers after starting the game 5 of 5 from deep.

The Magic outscored the Cavs 12-3 in bench points in the first half.

Cavs seize 14-point lead vs. Magic with center Jarrett Allen asserting himself in the paint

Allen threw down back-to-back dunk attempts on assists from Mitchell and point guard Darius Garland, and Cleveland built a 51-37 lead with 2:51 left in the second quarter. At this checkpoint, it was the Cavs’ largest advantage of the game.

The Cavs should be in good shape if Allen continues to play with controlled aggression and force.

Welcome to playoff basketball. Intensity increases in second quarter of Cavs vs. Magic

The Cavs challenged a blocking call on forward Georges Niang, who attempted to draw a charge from Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. as he drove to the basket along the baseline.

Guess what? The Cavs won the challenge, meaning Carter was charged with a foul with 10:36 remaining in the first half.

The Magic picked up another foul when center Moritz Wagner shoved Mobley out of bounds as the latter tried to gather a loose ball. In response to the play, Cavs small forward Isaac Okoro drew a technical foul with 9:29 left in the second quarter, and Magic forward Joe Ingles made the ensuing free throw to cut Cleveland’s lead to 35-29.

Moments later, Niang got in the face of Magic guard Markelle Fultz after Fultz made contact with Niang on a fast break. After the officials reviewed the sequence, the foul on Fultz counted, and Niang received a technical. Ingles missed a foul shot, and Niang split a pair, giving the Cavs a 38-31 lead with 8:19 remaining.

Below is some information about the first quarter.

Cavs lead Magic 33-26 at the end of the first quarter

The Cavs captured a 33-26 lead against the Magic after one quarter.

The Cavs shot 13-of-23 from the field in the opening quarter compared with the Magic going 8 of 20 from the floor.

The Cavs also held an 11-9 edge in rebounding through a quarter.

Mitchell and Mobley led the Cavs with 10 points apiece in the first quarter. Banchero had a team-high eight points for the Magic.

Cavs boost lead to 29-19 vs. Magic with 3:18 left in the first quarter

Garland picked up his second foul with 4:50 left in the first quarter as he tried to stop a fast-break basket off a turnover by Cleveland small forward Max Strus.

The negative development didn’t stop the Cavs from displaying their firepower, though. They led 29-19 with 3:18 left in the first quarter by going on a quick 6-0 run after Garland checked out of the game.

Mitchell nailed a jump shot, followed by Allen making layups off assists from Mitchell and guard Caris LeVert.

Cavs lead Magic 19-8 with 7:36 left in the first quarter

The Cavs led 19-8 during a timeout with 7:36 left in the first quarter after Mobley made his second 3-pointer.

The Cavs began the game 7-of-9 shooting from the field (5 of 5 on 3-pointers). The most impressive make at this juncture: Mitchell sank a desperation, fadeaway 3-pointer with 8:57 left to avoid a shot-clock violation.

The Cavs started hot out of the gate and took a 6-0 lead with back-to-back 3-pointers by Strus and Mitchell.

The Magic made two of their first six shots from the floor.

Below is some pregame information.

The Donovan Mitchell playoffs?

Welcome to the crossroads of an entire franchise, to the future of a coach being held in limbo and possibly dependent on what happens over the next few weeks, to a star’s search for redemption and potentially his last run in Cleveland before causing a seismic shift in the Eastern Conference landscape. Read more here on why this is such a pivotal postseason for Donovan Mitchell and the Cavs.

Cavs vs. Magic prediction

We both have the Cavs winning Game 1. To see why, and who we pick for the series, please click here.

How can I watch, stream or listen to Cleveland Cavs vs. Orlando Magic in Game 1?

The game is being televised nationally by ESPN and locally by Bally Sports Ohio. It’s being broadcast on the radio via WTAM (1100-AM), WMMS (100.7-FM) and WNZN (89.1-FM).

What is the injury report for the Cleveland Cavs and Orlando Magic?

The Cavs ruled out backup forward Dean Wade (sprained knee) for Game 1. He missed the final 19 games of the regular season.

They also ruled out backup point guards Craig Porter Jr. (ankle) and Ty Jerome (ankle). Porter suffered a sprained ankle in the April 14 regular-season finale. Jerome underwent surgery and missed virtually the entire season.

Reserve shooting guard Sam Merrill (neck strain) is not listed on the injury report. He is expected to be available for Cleveland after sitting out the team’s final three regular-season games.

Mitchell (left knee bone bruise), starting point guard Darius Garland (back contusion) and sixth man Caris LeVert (knee soreness) have been pushing through injuries, and they will face the Magic. Like Merrill, they aren’t on the injury report.

In the buildup to Game 1, Magic coach Jamahl Mosley declared Orlando fully healthy.

Cavs vs Magic schedule in NBA playoffs

Game 1: Magic vs. Cavs — 1 p.m. Saturday, April 20, in Cleveland, ESPN

Magic vs. Cavs — 1 p.m. Saturday, April 20, in Cleveland, ESPN Game 2: Magic vs. Cavs — 7 p.m. Monday, April 22, in Cleveland, NBA TV

Magic vs. Cavs — 7 p.m. Monday, April 22, in Cleveland, NBA TV Game 3: Cavs vs. Magic — 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in Orlando, NBA TV

Cavs vs. Magic — 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in Orlando, NBA TV Game 4: Cavs vs. Magic — 1 p.m. Saturday, April, 27, in Orlando, TNT

Cavs vs. Magic — 1 p.m. Saturday, April, 27, in Orlando, TNT Game 5: Magic vs. Cavs — Tuesday, April 30, in Cleveland (if necessary)

Magic vs. Cavs — Tuesday, April 30, in Cleveland (if necessary) Game 6: Cavs vs. Magic — Friday, May 3, in Orlando (if necessary)

Cavs vs. Magic — Friday, May 3, in Orlando (if necessary) Game 7: Magic vs. Cavs — Sunday, May 5, in Cleveland (if necessary)

NBA playoff bracket: Eastern Conference first round

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (8) Miami Heat

(2) New Knicks vs. (7) Philadelphia 76ers

(3) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (6) Indiana Pacers

(4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (5) Orlando Magic

The winner of the Cavs-Magic series advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals to play whichever team prevails between the top-seeded Boston Celtics (64-18) and eighth-seeded Miami Heat (46-36). The No. 8 spot was determined by the Heat defeating the Chicago Bulls 112-91 on Friday night in the NBA Play-In Tournament.

Cavs vs. Magic this season: Teams split their 2023-24 regular-season series

The Cavs and Magic played each other four times during the regular season. Each team won twice, including once on the other team’s home court. Here’s a look at those games:

Magic 116, Cavs 109; Feb. 22, in Cleveland Notable: Mo Wagner’s 22 points and seven rebounds led the Magic to a win. Max Strus (18 points and six assists) and Jarrett Allen (18 points and 10 rebounds) led the Cavs, who were without Donovan Mitchell (illness).

Cavs 129, Magic 99; Jan. 22, in Orlando Notable: Sam Merrill scored 26 points, 20 in the first half, to lead the Cavs to their eighth consecutive win. Donovan Mitchell added 25 points and 13 assists, and Jarrett Allen had a 12th straight double-double (14 points and 11 rebounds). Paolo Banchero led the Magic with 18 points and six assists.

Magic 104, Cavs 94; Dec. 11, in Orlando Notable: Despite 36 points by Darius Garland and 22 by Donovan Mitchell, the Cavs lost. Paolo Banchero scored 20 points to lead the Magic, and Franz Wagner added 19. The Cavs were without Evan Mobley (knee), and foul trouble for Jarrett Allen created problems in the second half.

Cavs 110, Magic 101; Dec. 6, in Cleveland Notable: Donovan Mitchell (35 points, seven rebounds, six assists) and Darius Garland (26 points, nine assists) led the way for the Cavs. Max Strus (17 points, five rebounds, six assists) and Evan Mobley (16 points and five rebounds) also came up big. Paolo Banchero went for 42 points to go with six rebounds and nine assists for Orlando. The Magic shot just 2 for 23 on 3-pointers.

Cleveland Cavaliers playoff preview:Donovan Mitchell lifts Cavs teammates who are inspired to help him get over postseason hump

What is the all-time series history between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic?

The Cavs are 65-61 against the Magic in the regular season. Cleveland is 39-23 at home.

In the playoffs, the Cavs are 2-4 against the Magic. All six of those games were played in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals.

Cavs champion offers perspective:Tristan Thompson sees positive in Cleveland Cavaliers getting ‘ass whooped’ by New York Knicks in 2023 playoffs

Nate Ulrich can be reached at On Twitter: @ByNateUlrich. Ryan Lewis can be reached at Follow him on Threads at @ByRyanLewis.

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