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The Cleveland Cavaliers bid to push the Magic to the brink of elimination on Thursday night when they play Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series in Orlando, Fla.

Donovan Mitchell paced the fourth-seeded Cavaliers to a pair of victories in Cleveland to begin the best-of-seven series. The five-time All-Star scored 30 points in the Cavaliers' 97-83 win over the fifth-seeded Magic in the series opener on Saturday and 23 in a 96-86 victory on Monday.

"I think there's a level that we can continue to improve at," Mitchell said. "It's great we got the win and we're up 2-0. But we're not looking to be up 2-0. We're looking to be perfect. There's no such thing as perfection, but you continuously want to chase it."

Jarrett Allen recorded his fifth career playoff double-double and second of the series on Monday after posting 16 points for the second straight game and a personal playoff-high 20 rebounds. He became the third Cavalier in franchise history to seize 20 boards in a playoff game, joining Brad Daugherty and Kevin Love.

Allen has 38 boards over the first two games of the series, much to the delight of Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

"You can't say enough. He's been phenomenal and understanding what is necessary and then going and doing whatever he can to impact it," Bickerstaff said. "We knew that this series would be won in the interior. We knew we would have to do a great job on the boards. In back-to-back (games) he's taken it upon himself to make sure we win that battle."

Orlando, which posted a 29-12 record at home this season, is hosting its first playoff game since April 21, 2019. The notion of seeing his team play in front of what he expects to be a boisterous crowd wasn't lost on Magic coach Jamahl Mosley.

"It's going to be great to be back at home, in front of our fans," Mosley said. "That energy. That intensity. That's something that we'll be looking forward to. Take care of homecourt."

To do that, Orlando likely would benefit from a faster start. The Magic have fallen behind by the end of the first quarter in 13 of their last 15 games dating to the regular season.

"And now you're climbing uphill the rest of the way," Mosley said. "You can play them even all you want the rest of the way, but we have to do a better job of coming out with an intensity and a fight to hit from the beginning."

Orlando's Paolo Banchero followed up a 24-point performance in the series opener with 21 points on Monday. Franz Wagner collected 18 points and seven rebounds in both games thus far.

"We're excited to go play at home," Wagner said. "Do the same as they did."

The Magic's best perimeter defender, Jalen Suggs, expects to play in Game 3 despite nursing a left knee injury sustained in Monday's game.

"It's going to be just fine," Suggs said. "We play Thursday at 7 and I'm going to be present."

Banchero will need to be better with the ball. He has committed 15 turnovers in the two games.

--Field Level Media

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