Donovan Mitchell ‘setting a tone’ as Cavs set for Game 2 vs. Magic

Donovan Mitchell appears to have fully put his knee injury behind him.

The Cavaliers star got off to a strong start in the first-round matchup against the Orlando Magic and looks to help his team take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference series when the teams meet Monday night in Cleveland.

Mitchell scored 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting in Game 1 as the Cavaliers produced a 97-83 home victory.

“It’s all about setting a tone,” Mitchell said. “This is exciting and I love it and it’s great, but in the same token, this game is only one game. This is trying to set that tone, but now we have to do it again and again.”

Mitchell missed six games in the latter half of March due to troubles with his left knee.

He struggled upon his return, scoring 13 or fewer points in three of his first four games back on the court. But he got it going with outputs of 29 and 33 in his final two regular-season appearances before shooting down the Magic.

Mitchell cautioned that Saturday was just one game and that he and his teammates have a lot of work to do.

“As long as we stay here, stay here mentally,” Mitchell said. “We did it (Saturday), but we’ve got to have that attitude until we get four wins. Then another four. Then another four. It’s great to feel good, but it’s only one. We’ve got three more times to do this. Then the same thing. Then we’ve got to do it again.”

Cleveland led by as many as 20 and never trailed in the Game 1 victory. The easy win was obtained despite 8-of-30 shooting from 3-point range and 17 turnovers.

Jarrett Allen complemented Mitchell with 16 points and 18 rebounds while Evan Mobley added 16 points and 11 boards.

Orlando seeks to avoid a 2-0 deficit after the effort was there, but the shooting wasn’t in Game 1.

The Magic shot 32.6 from the field, including 8 of 37 from 3-point range, and also missed 11 free throws (19 of 30).

“We didn’t score enough,” Orlando star Paolo Banchero said. “Just shots weren’t falling, but I thought we got good looks. We missed a lot of free throws and didn’t make 3s. There were a lot of things we could have done a lot better.”

Banchero scored 24 points but missed half of his eight free-throw attempts. He also was sloppy with the ball and committed nine turnovers.

According to the team, the turnover count ties for second most in the postseason by an Orlando player with Darrell Armstrong (nine against the Philadelphia 76ers on May 13, 199). The dubious record of 10 is held by Penny Hardaway against the Indiana Pacers on May 2, 1994.

Franz Wagner added 18 points but was 2 of 6 from behind the arc and 2 of 4 from the line.

“I think there were a couple possessions where we were stagnant,” Wagner said. “That kind of leads to tough shots. But I think for the most part, I think we tried to make the right play.”

Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley is well aware the shooting must improve if his club wants to return home with the series tied.

“Cleveland does a great job of packing the paint in, and they do a great job of flying at shots,” Mosley said. “But a big portion of this is us continuing to be willing to step into those shots with confidence, which our team will continue to do and that’s the work that we’ve put in and will continue to put in.”