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'All for one and one for all' Cavs regain momentum in series with Magic | Jeff Schudel

May 1—The Cavaliers knew they had to play as a team in Game 5 after abandoning their "All for one and one for all" style of basketball while losing twice in Orlando.

Talk about following the script. There were heroes galore to help the Cavs beat the Magic, 104-103, on April 30 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to take a 3-2 lead in the series and guarantee playoff basketball will continue in their home arena this spring.

If the Cavaliers beat the Magic on May 3 in Orlando, the next game at the FieldHouse will be against the winner of the Celtics-Heat series in an Eastern Conference semifinal contest. If the Magic prevail on their home court again, Game 7 will be played at 1 p.m. May 5 in Cleveland.

"If we keep playing like this, we're going to go far," Evan Mobley said. "We have to stick together (in Game 6). (Winning) is definitely going to be more difficult than it was here, but we're up for the challenge."

Mobley was one of the heroes. The third-year center made the biggest block of his young career when he swatted away a layup attempt by Orlando forward Franz Wagner with five seconds to play and the Cavs leading, 102-100.

Coach J.B. Bickerstaff had high praise for Max Strus' tenacity after the #Cavaliers edged the #Magic, 104-103 Monday night in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead. pic.twitter.com/7MJeueN5ec

— Jeff Schudel (@jsproinsider) May 1, 2024

The crowd inside the FieldHouse went nuts. Teammates slapped Mobley on the back to congratulate him.

"It was just surreal," Mobley said. "I have to watch it back a few times and boost morale even more and look to the next game."

The Cavaliers learned just before the game Jarrett Allen would not be able to play because of a rib injury. It took a while for Mobley to assert himself. He had six points and six rebounds midway through the third quarter. He had seven more rebounds and eight more points in the final 18 minutes.

Mobley cut to the basket, took a feed from Max Strus, and slammed home an emphatic dunk with 1:43 left for a 99-98 Cavs lead. He took another pass from Darius Garland with 41 seconds and finished the play with a layup for a 102-98 lead.

And Garland. Garland blitzed the Magic with 17 points in the first quarter to give the Cavs a 33-23 advantage. The lead did not hold up. The lead changed hands 17 times as the night drew to its dramatic near-conclusion on the block by Mobley. But without the fast start Garland created, the Cavs might have been chasing the Magic all night.

And Strus. Don't just look at his stat line that shows him with 16 points and five fouls. He scored 11 points in the third quarter, and dropped four 3-pointers after halftime. He stood in front of Paolo Banchero to draw a charging foul with 1:38 left in the third quarter while the Cavs were clinging to a 67-64 lead. He lay on his back, panting to catch his breath. Thirteen seconds later, he drained a jumper from 25 feet.

Donovan Mitchell was cold again, hitting just 9 of 23 shots from the floor, but he led the team with 28 points.

Marcus Morris Jr., who wasn't signed until March 29, came off the bench to add muscle to the defense and score 12 points. He was 2-of-5 on 3-point attempts. Mitchell was 1-of-7. It just goes to show how important every player was to winning a game the Cavs desperately needed to regain momentum in the series.