Orlando Magic hack Cleveland Cavaliers to pieces in Game 4 to tie first round series

Cleveland Cavaliers v Orlando Magic - Game Four
Cleveland Cavaliers v Orlando Magic - Game Four / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages

38. Final. 89. 156. Cavs lose game 4. 112

This Just In: The Cleveland Police Department has put out an APB for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland. Team president Koby Altman is already giving coach J.B. Bickerstaff and his father Bernie, a squad consultant, the cold shoulder. And an unspecified number of Cavs reserved trips to Cancun on the plane home.

Through two quarters, the guests were controlling the pace and were the nastier team, supplying three more fastbreak points and an extra six off turnovers, with 40 marks in the paint on 20-of-26 attempts. Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley and Donovan Mitchell had the group in charge.

But the Magic slowed the game and erased a nine-point halftime lead in five minutes. At one moment, the Cavs rattled off 18 unanswered points. Then the Wine and Gold checked out as the slaughter worsened in Game 4.

Most of the Magic’s damage was caused by Franz Wagner, making nine-of-10 baskets the rest of the way. He finished twice on the break, hunted Donovan Mitchell for two jump shots, dribbled by Caris LeVert to make three baskets in the paint, cut for a layup and hit a tray in Evan Mobley’s face.

On top of that, Wendell Carter, Jr., Jalen Suggs and Jonathan Isaac each connected on two three-pointers, and the Magic picked up 11 more rebounds and a dozen extra points in the lane.

The Cavs’ response was committing nine turnovers, scoring 29 points, making 36.4 percent of attempts, including 20% from 3-point range in the second half. Additionally, the bench was outscored 22-13 in that stretch.

The series is now tied at 2-2, but the Magic are playing with swag. The mentally fragile Cavaliers host Game 5 on Tuesday.

The Cavaliers responsible for the late collapse

Mitchell had four turnovers and logged a donut, missing all four of his tries over Wagner, Jalen Suggs and Jonathan Isaac at mid and long-range. On defense, he was powerless after stacking up a few steals in the first quarter.

Garland’s impact was infinitesimal, recording an inadequate two-of-four ventures. Only one of his shots was hoisted in the paint, and he earned one trip to the line.

Jarrett Allen and Mobley vanished. The former found himself on Mo Wagner’s second highlight dunk of the series. The latter was accurate on 14.3 percent of his tries. On the wing, Max Strus contributed three points and did a lot of running.

Franz Wagner is a mismatch, and if not under control, he will be the difference maker in a series upset and likely break up the Cavs. Cleveland entered the series with a clear focus to take advantage of the Magic's lack of playoff experience, but instead they have continued their 0-8 record on the road in the playoffs under J.B. Bickerstaff.

After Game 4, the Cavaliers were trying to catch the charter quickly. Bickerstaff only took questions for fewer than three minutes after a nationally televised Playoff loss.

Before Bickerstaff left, he implored his team to stay together and said, “We had found something in the second quarter that worked… In the third quarter, we didn’t get to the same spots. We didn’t play at the same tempo. They came out, went on a run and we didn’t match it.”

Luckily, the press got a hold of DG for nearly six minutes.

Garland said, “We don’t push the pace to begin the second half. [We] didn’t get the shots we wanted, everything was pretty stagnant, everything was one-sided.”

When Garland was asked about a shift in the series, he said it's tied and that's how the Playoffs go. The Cavaliers are the more talented group, but they are playing like a skinny jeans team.

On the other side, Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said his team made the correct adjustments and that its defensive effort was special. (The Magic’s Defensive Rating was a 93.7 for the game and a 65.9 in the second half.) Mosley added his team “showed a tremendous amount of poise to be able to bounce back. Our defense carries us, and it allows us to get out and get easy baskets on the offensive end.”

The Cavaliers are favorites entering Game 5 at home, as the home team has not lost yet in this series. Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic return to Cleveland on Tuesday, April 30 for a crucial tiebreaker.

Next. 3 "bad contracts" Cavaliers should trade for this summer. 3 "bad contracts" Cavaliers should trade for this summer. dark