Magic matures with must-win Game 6 vs. Cavaliers

(Photo by Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports)

The Orlando Magic may be considered a relatively young team, but that conversation is old for Joe Ingles.

In fact, the Magic are looking to avoid elimination in Game 6 of Friday's Eastern Conference first-round series against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, but Ingles is curious as to how age will be a factor. do not have. Cleveland holds a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

“I probably got to the point about halfway through the year, but now I hate this 'young' slogan even more,” the Magic's 36-year-old said after Orlando's 104-103 loss in Game 5 on Tuesday. . “It doesn't matter how young you are.

“It's the connectivity, it's the players continuing to improve and get better. Yeah, there's going to be some situations that the players haven't been through, but everyone in this room, at some point. “I've played in big games and finals.”It's a pretty high level of basketball. ”

Besides Ingles, the Magic's oldest player is Gary Harris, 29. Only four players had postseason experience prior to this series.

Still, 21-year-old Paolo Banchero and 22-year-old Franz Wagner managed to set an example for Orlando. Banchero averaged 24.8 points and 7.2 rebounds in the series, while Wagner averaged 20.0 points and 7.4 rebounds, respectively.

The home team has won each game in the series, and if Orlando holds serve on Friday, it would force a Game 7 in the series for the first time since 2009.

Cleveland is looking to win a playoff series for the first time since 2018. Of course, things were different then for the Cavaliers, as they made four straight NBA Finals appearances during LeBron James' second tenure.

Donovan Mitchell is currently steering the ship and is doing a great job. He scored 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter on Tuesday, leading the Cavaliers to their third straight home series win.

“We have to do it again on the road,” Mitchell said. “We won at home. We did our job at home. We did our job. This doesn't prove anything. We haven't proven anything. We haven't done anything. You have to handle your business.”

Jarrett Allen's health remains the biggest topic in Cleveland. Allen was considered the team's glue, holding everything together, but she was sidelined Tuesday after contusing her ribs late in the Cavaliers' 112-89 loss to Orlando in Game 4.

In Game 5, Cavaliers' Evan Mobley had 14 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks, including denying Wagner's attempted layup with five seconds left in regulation.

“We're going to miss Jarrett a lot,” Cleveland coach JB Bickerstaff said. “We knew we had to pick up that slack. We know how Jarrett anchors the defense, and Evan had to do that (in Game 5). He I thought it was amazing.”

Allen averaged 17.0 points and 13.8 rebounds in four games in the series.

–Field level media

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