The Cleveland Cavaliers bounce back. After falling in their last two games, the Cavs took home a 104-103 victory over the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of their playoff series on Tuesday. Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland led the way, scoring 28 and 23 points, respectively. Garland tallied 17 points in the first quarter alone, and his aggressive play had his running mate’s approval.

“Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. I don’t care,” Mitchell said, in reference to Garland’s aggressiveness. “Shoot the ball and go out swinging.” (per Right Down Euclid’s Evan Dammarell)

Indeed, the Cavs played like a team that was sick of losing. They were already up 2-0 to begin the series. However, the Magic managed to tie the wins once the series shifted to Orlando. Returning to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland turned the momentum around in a clash that went down to the wire.

The Cavs take home Game 5

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) reacts after a basket during the first quarter against the Orlando Magic in game five of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

During the first half, Garland and Mitchell’s scoring kept the Cavs in control for the most part. However, the Magic ended the second quarter with a run that made it a one-point game at the half.

Neither side managed to break away, with both teams going back and forth throughout the third and fourth. With 40 seconds remaining, Garland drove and managed to find Evan Mobley, who laid it in under the basket for a 102-98 lead. Franz Wagner responded with a layup on the other end to cut it down to two.

As the clock dwindled down, the Cavs failed to convert with 16 seconds remaining, giving Orlando the final possession. With the ball in his hands, Wagner attacked the rim to tie — but Mobley had other plans. The Cavs big man swatted Wagner’s layup attempt, resulting in the Cavs securing the ball and shooting free throws with three seconds left.

Mitchell sank both to make it a two-possession game. Paolo Banchero drilled a three at the buzzer, but it didn’t matter, as the Cavs still won by a point.

Moving forward

Cleveland was without the services of Jarrett Allen, who was sidelined because of an injury stemming from the previous game. In his place, coach JB Bickerstaff decided to field in Isaac Okoro (who played the four) while moving Mobley to center.

Up 3-2, Cleveland is a victory away from advancing. Still, Donovan Mitchell isn’t satisfied. The Cavs have yet to win in Orlando, and it’s something that they have to do in order to end the series in six games.

Asked what Tuesday’s win meant, Mitchell was blunt with his response.

“Honestly, nothing. We took care of business at home but we gotta win on the road. We haven’t accomplished anything yet,” the Cavs guard said.

Game 6 tips off on Thursday, and the Cavs hope to have Allen back by then. If the team prevails, they’ll be facing the winner of the Boston Celtics-Miami Heat matchup in the next round.