Report: Cavs bench was ‘talking s—t’ to Magic throughout Game 2 of playoff series

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Per Cleveland Cavaliers reporter Tony Pesta, the Cavs bench was talking plenty of trash to the Orlando Magic during Game 2 of the first-round playoff series between the two teams on Monday.

Cleveland’s defense has been simply dominant through the first two games of the series. In Game 1, the Magic mustered just 83 total points while converting only 28 of their 86 shot attempts from the floor, equating to a dreadful shooting clip of 32.6 percent.

Two days later, the Cavs put together a similarly fantastic performance on the defensive side of the ball, as the team once again held Paolo Banchero and the Magic to well under 100 points in Game 2. Orlando finished with 86 points and shot just marginally better from the field than it did in Game 1, considering the Magic ended up with a field-goal percentage of 36.3.

The Magic combined for only 169 points in the first two games of the series, meaning Cleveland’s defense is ultimately what has buoyed the team to a commanding 2-0 lead.

But star guard Donovan Mitchell deserves credit for the scoring boost he’s given his team against the Magic. Thus far in the Cavaliers’ first-round series, Mitchell is averaging a team-high 26.5 points per contest on 46.5 percent shooting from the field.

The 27-year-old totaled 30 points on 21 shots from the floor in Game 1 and followed up that scoring display by accumulating 23 points while shooting 9-of-22 from the field in Game 2.

Mitchell has been the Cavaliers’ best scorer versus Orlando by a wide margin, as big man Evan Mobley is averaging the second-most points per game on the team with 16.5, a whole 10 points fewer.

After winning the first two games of the series at home, the Cavaliers will hope to continue their winning ways in Games 3 and 4 when they will be the away team.

But it’s worth noting that Cleveland didn’t always find it easy to win games away from home during the 2023-24 regular season, as evidenced by the team’s 22-19 road record compared to its impressive home record of 26-15.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.