Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs holds his knee after being...

Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs holds his knee after being injured during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Monday, April 22, 2024, in Cleveland. Credit: AP/Ron Schwane

CLEVElAND — Jalen Suggs made a stunning comeback for Orlando in Game 2. The Magic now need to make one of their own to save their season.

Suggs shook off what appeared to a serious injury to the guard's left knee and played most of the second half as the Magic lost 96-86 to the Cleveland Cavaliers to fall behind 0-2 in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

Unable to put any weight on his leg, Suggs was carried off the floor in the first quarter in pain and crying. However, he came back after halftime wearing a sleeve on his leg and sparked the Magic before the Cavs put them away.

Following the game, Suggs, who finished with nine points, six rebounds and five assists in 29 minutes, said he expects to play in Game 3 at Orlando on Thursday.

“I’m good,” he said. "I was able to finish. It will be cool to get back home and get treatment for a couple of days. We play Thursday at 7 p.m. and I’ll be ready.”

It was hard to imagine Suggs returning to the series, never mind the game, when he went down with 4:02 remaining in the first quarter.

While helping defend Donovan Mitchell, Suggs collapsed to the floor after contact with Cleveland's All-Star guard, who was fouled on the play. Suggs immediately grabbed his leg as his teammates gathered around him.

Cleveland Cavaliers' Darius Garland (10) and Orlando Magic's Jalen Suggs...

Cleveland Cavaliers' Darius Garland (10) and Orlando Magic's Jalen Suggs (4) fight for a loose ball during the second half in Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Cleveland. Credit: AP/Nick Cammett

As he was assisted off the floor, the other Magic players seemed stunned at seeing the former football player — and their best defensive guard — suffering.

“It takes the wind out of your team when our head of the snake on defense goes down,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “He was in quite a bit of pain when he returned, so we’ll evaluate him when we get back home.”

Suggs, who was the No. 5 overall pick in 2021 after starring at Gonzaga, had a key role in Orlando's 13-0 run in the fourth quarter that pulled the Magic within 87-78. But Mitchell scored two quick baskets and Cleveland held on.

For the second straight game, the Magic's poor shooting doomed them.

Orlando Magic's Jalen Suggs (4) shoots ahead of Cleveland Cavaliers'...

Orlando Magic's Jalen Suggs (4) shoots ahead of Cleveland Cavaliers' Max Strus (1) during the second half in Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Cleveland. Credit: AP/Nick Cammett

They went just 29 of 80 from the floor, including 9 of 35 on 3-pointers. Orlando's offense isn't very fluid to begin with, and the Magic need to make every shot count.

“It’s just the nature of the sport,” Suggs said. “You can do everything right and the shots don’t fall. We’re getting in there, but we’re not making them. Naturally, there is a tendency to get frustrated.”

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