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Mitchell leads Cavs over Magic

CLEVELAND — Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points, Darius Garland added 26 and the Cleveland Cavaliers began a challenging stretch with a 121-111 win on Wednesday night over the Orlando Magic, who got a career-high 42 points from Paolo Banchero.

It was one of the better performances lately by the Cavs, who have been inconsistent so far in 2023 and came in just 4-8 against teams with winning records. They were booed in their most recent loss at home.

Cleveland needed a solid bounce back with a tough schedule ahead — at Miami on Friday and two games in Boston next week — and got one.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, Banchero went 16 of 26 from the field for Orlando, which lost for just the second time in 11 games.

The Magic, who fell behind by 23 points in the first half, went just 2 of 23 on 3-pointers, barely extending their streak of making at least one trey to 1,314 games, dating to 2007.

One of the NBA’s young, up-and-coming squads, Orlando hung around and pulled within five points in the third quarter on Banchero’s 3-pointer — the Magic’s first make after starting 0 of 12 from behind the arc.

Mitchell responded with a 3 and assisted on one by Georges Niang. Mitchell then hit two free throws and followed his missed 3 with a rebound and dunk in a two-minute span as the Cavs opened a 99-86 lead after three.

The Magic trailed by 18 in the fourth but kept fighting and used a 12-2 run to get within 106-98. That’s when Mitchell again found Niang for a 3-pointer and Garland, who didn’t have a turnover in 40 minutes, scored on a layup to hold off Orlando.

The Magic’s visit to Cleveland was one of two games added for the teams that didn’t advance beyond the group stage of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament.

Mitchell was aggressive from the outset.

He dropped three 3-pointers and made his first six shots. When Mitchell scored on a layup with 3:58 left in the first quarter, he was outscoring the Magic 15-14.

Orlando guard Jalen Suggs left in the second quarter with an injured right ankle.

Suggs, who came up limping in the first quarter, went down awkwardly while playing defense. He was on the floor for several minutes before being assisted off and taken directly to Orlando’s locker room.

The Cavaliers were again without reserve guard Caris LeVert. He missed his second straight game with a left knee issue. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said LeVert, who averages 14.9 points, will travel with the Cavs on their upcoming road trip.

UP NEXT

Magic: Host Detroit on Friday.

Cavaliers: At Miami on Friday.

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