Mitchell scores 50 points in an attempt to end series, but Cavaliers fall to the Magic in Game 6

ORLANDO, Fla. — Donovan Mitchell looked down at the stat sheet, slowly shook his head in amazement and then chose his words carefully.

The Cleveland star seemed less surprised that he scored 50 points in a 103-96 playoff loss to Orlando on Friday night than the fact the Cavaliers scored 66 points in the paint but only shot 10 free throws.

“That’s crazy,” Mitchell said, though he stressed that wasn’t the reason the Cavs failed to close out their first-round series against Magic.

“It’s not an excuse,” he repeated.

“It’s over with. We didn’t win the game,” Mitchell went on to say. “And the end of the day, I had 50 but we lost.”

Still hobbled by a right ankle injury, Mitchell made 22 of 36 shots, scoring many of his points by driving to the basket after being forced off the 3-point line.

The Cavs missed 13 of 14 3-pointers in the first half. Mitchell misfired on his first four and finished 3 of 9 from beyond the arc.

“I can’t hit a 3 to save my life. Got to do something, just trying to find my opportunities to attack,” he said. “There were times I even settled. I am not mad at the nine 3s, but still can find ways to get into the paint and create.”

With Cleveland holding a 3-2 series lead after winning Games 1, 2 and 5 at home but dropping Games 3 and 4 in Orlando by a combined 61 points, Mitchell entered Game 6 determined to attack.

“Be aggressive … just try to continue to force my way into the game,” Mitchell said.

“It hasn’t been the best series for me, but especially a game like this, I felt like I did a solid job of that,” he added. “Just trying to find ways to make my imprint on the game. That was the mindset, just come out and try to put them away.”

Mitchell had 19 points in the first half and 32 heading into the fourth quarter. He scored Cleveland’s final 22 points, including all 18 in the fourth quarter, and was the only Cav to score over the final 14 minutes.

“No one overreacted to what he was doing. Obviously he’s a special, special player to be able to have 50 and only make three 3s,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said.

Game 7 is Sunday.

“We missed open looks. It happens. It’s unfortunate that’s in the fourth quarter, but that’s irrelevant now,” Mitchell said. We have to go back home and take care of business.”


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