4 takeaways from Cleveland Cavaliers' Game One victory against Orlando Magic

The Cleveland Cavaliers were victorious in their first game of the playoffs, beating the Orlando Magic convincingly 97-83 and defending homecourt.
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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The Cavaliers started the game hot, hitting their first five three-pointers of the game, leading to a 33-26 lead in the first period. Cleveland took a quick lead and never looked back, holding onto the advantage the entire afternoon.

The Orlando Magic’s intense and physical defense led to a couple of big runs as they tried to claw their way back into the game, but the Cavs always had an answer. 

Down 53-41 at halftime, the Magic opened up the third quarter with a 12-4 run in a six and half minute span. The Magic’s ball pressure was preventing the Cavaliers from developing an offensive rhythm and it looked like they were going to make it a close game. But then Donovan Mitchell decided to take the game into his own hands, scoring the next seven Cavalier points and getting the game back on track. 

The Cavaliers would build a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, 78-58 with 11:19 left in the game. Then the Magic gave their last desperate attempt to win the game. They would hold the Cavaliers scoreless for almost four minutes, going on an 11-0 run cutting the lead to nine points. However, the Cavaliers would once again have an answer. They would close the game on a 19-14 run and win the game with no concerns in the final minutes. 

It was a very promising first game of the playoffs, with all four of the Cavaliers core four having a good game and stepping up in different moments. The defense was strong, cutting off Orlando’s drives to the basket and forcing them to shoot a lot from the outside (the Magic are last in the NBA in three-pointers per game and in the bottom five in three-point percentage). The Cavs' dominant win resulted in four key takeaways for the rest of the series.