The Magic Demolished The Cavs In Game 3 For Their First Win Of The Series

After being completely inept offensively in the first two games in Cleveland, the Magic found their rhythm back in Orlando for Game 3. The Magic had to hold home court in Game 3 to have any hopes of making this a series, and they did so in a big way, absolutely destroying the Cavs in a 121-83 blowout.

It was a reversal of fortunes from the first two games where Cleveland cruised to double-digit wins while the Magic were stuck in the mud. Back home in central Florida, the Magic found their offensive rhythm and were able to crack the code of the Cavs defense to finally unlock the paint. Paolo Banchero led the way with 31 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists, as he authored his best game of the series, hitting 13-of-26 shot attempts, including 4-of-9 from three.

Offering Banchero support was Jalen Suggs, who looked fresh despite an injury scare in Game 2, scoring 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting on the night, getting downhill to the rim and also knocking down three threes.

By halftime, the Magic were in full control, leading 61-45, but the floodgates opened in a 35-16 third quarter that saw them put the game to bed early. Orlando’s defense was sensational and their offense finally had some rhythm and flow to it, getting the Cavs into rotation and taking advantage of space they finally created by lifting the lid off of the rim.

It wasn’t an outrageous three-point shooting performance from the Magic by any means (13-of-37) but it was enough to lift the Cavs defense higher and open up the paint more for them to attack the rim where they are at their best. Franz Wagner chipped in 16 points and eight assists, and it was the best performance from Orlando’s backcourt as a whole. Along with Suggs’ big night, Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz came off the bench to combine for 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, as the Magic’s wings finally got the support they needed from the backcourt to divert some defensive attention.

On the other side, the Cavs found themselves in the same funk Orlando had been in, shooting just 39 percent from the field including a woeful 8-of-34 performance from three. Jarrett Allen was the only Cav from their main rotation to hit 50 percent or more of his shots (5-of-6), as the backcourt duo of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell went a combined 8-of-26 for 18 points in a rather hideous night for the Cleveland guards.

We’ll see how the Cavs bounce back in Game 4, as they were carrying all of the positive momentum as the series left Cleveland but now have to lick some wounds themselves. For a young Magic team, finally seeing things go right in the postseason is a big dea, and they’ll be looking to build on this performance. Orlando will look to pull back even in the series on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET on TNT>