The Cavs Won Another Rock Fight Against The Magic To Take Game 2

Retired Los Angeles Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler came up with the concept of Lawler’s Law years ago, which states the first team to score 100 points in an NBA game would end up winning. Through two games in the first round series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic, that has proven to be too ambitious of a number, but nevertheless, the Cavs find themselves with a 2-0 lead in the series after defending their homecourt en route to a 96-86 win.

The Cavs won the game behind a balanced offensive effort from their four main stars: Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, and Evan Mobley. The idea behind putting that group together was that they could all compliment one another well — particularly while Garland and Mobley continued to develop in the league — and we got a good look of that vision on Monday night. Mitchell, as he usually does, led the way with 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a block, while his backcourt mate was solid, as Garland had 15 points and four assists.

Both Allen and Mobley were able to impose themselves on the Magic frontcourt, with the veteran big man, in particular, dominating the game. Allen had 16 points and 20 rebounds, with nine of those board coming on the offensive glass — he almost had as many offensive boards as the Magic had as a team, as Orlando only reeled in 11. Mobley rounded things out with a 17-point, 7-rebound effort.

But for the second game in a row, Cleveland was able to win the game on the other end of the floor behind a stellar defensive effort that was aided by the fact that Orlando’s offense really struggled. As a team, the Magic only shot 29-for-80 (36.3 percent) from the field and 9-for-35 (25.7 percent) from three. And while Paolo Banchero (21 points) and Franz Wagner (18 points) led the team in scoring, both struggled to shoot the ball efficiently and had turnover issues, as they each gave the ball to the Cavs six times.

If there is a source of optimism for Orlando, it might be that someone was able to see a few go in from deep, as Gary Harris went 4-for-7 from behind the arc — Wagner, who made a pair of triples, was the only other player to make more than one shot from three. And of course, there’s the fact that the series now shifts to their building, as things will head to the Kia Center for Games 3 and 4, marking the first time that the Magic will host a playoff game since 2019.

Game 3 between Orlando and Cleveland is scheduled to take place on Thursday night at 7 p.m. EST, and will air on NBA TV.