Mortiz Wagner had 22 points, his younger brother, Franz, added 14 and the Orlando Magic returned from the All-Star break to beat Cleveland 116-109 on Thursday night, handing the Cavaliers just their third loss in 21 games. The Cavs, who have been the NBA’s hottest team since mid-December, played without leading scorer and All-Star Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell, who has been instrumental in Cleveland’s rise to second in the Eastern Conference, sat out with an unspecified illness. The 27-year-old participated in the 3-point contest and played in his fifth All-Star game last weekend at Indianapolis.

Orlando played the final 22 minutes without starting guard Jalen Suggs, who went out midway through the third quarter with a head injury and didn’t return. But the Magic’s reserves stepped up in the second half, especially backup guard Cole Anthony, who had 13 points and six assists in 18 minutes while taking Suggs’ spot. Orlando’s bench outscored Cleveland’s 63-24.

Moritz Wagner‘s 3-pointer put the Magic ahead 107-95 with 4:41 left before the Cavs went inside to center Jarrett Allen for two straight buckets, and Evan Mobley‘s basket pulled Cleveland within 111-103. That’s when 0rlando All-Star Paolo Banchero, who went just 4 of 15 from the field, hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to put the Magic up by 11. The Cavs scrapped, but couldn’t get closer than seven in the final two minutes and fell to 23-6 since Dec. 16.

Allen finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Darius Garland added 18 points and 10 assists for the Cavs.

Banchero, who has been battling a flu bug since making his first All-Star appearance, missed his first six shots before scoring on consecutive possessions as the Magic built a 14-point lead in the second quarter.

Cleveland was out of sorts without Mitchell running the show, but the Cavs ran off eight straight points to trail 54-50 at halftime.

The Cavs began a grueling stretch in which they’ll play five games in seven nights and nine in the next 14 days. Cleveland’s daunting schedule over the final six weeks of the regular season includes seven back-to-backs.


Cavaliers: At Philadelphia on Friday.