NBA Playoffs: Evan Mobley comes up big with game-saving block to give Cavaliers 3-2 lead

It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t smooth. It wasn’t on most basic cable packages. But the Cleveland Cavaliers have a 3-2 lead.

Behind 28 points from Donovan Mitchell and a lead-saving block by Evan Mobley, the Cavaliers defeated the Orlando Magic 104-103 in a pivotal Game 5 of their first-round series on Tuesday. Game 6 is scheduled for Friday in Orlando.

The game came down to one final stop with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, when Magic standout Franz Wagner drove to the basket for a would-be game-tying lay-up. Mobley had other plans.

The effort negated a career night for Paolo Banchero, who posted 39 points on 14-of-24 shooting plus eight rebounds and four assists for a team that had worked its way back from being down 2-0. That included a pair of 3-pointers in the final minutes, both of which gave the Magic a lead.

The Cavaliers responded each time, led by Mitchell and Darius Garland (23 points, five assists). Mobley also finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals.

It was Mobley’s supremacy in the paint that made the difference for Cleveland, despite missing starting center Jarrett Allen due to a bruised rib. The Magic had 30 points on 15-of-31 shooting in the paint, while the Cavaliers were 21-of-40 for 42 points.

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