“You have to take it”

As they say, a playoff series doesn't begin until someone loses on their home court.

In the Magic's case, it will be over if Orlando falls to the Cavs in Game 6 on Friday night at the Kia Center.

The Magic trail Cleveland 3-2 after losing Game 5 on the road by 1 point on Tuesday.

Both teams have protected their home opener and it wasn't until this week's game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse that a contest was decided by single digits.

Just because the Magic won Games 3 and 4 at home doesn't guarantee another win. There isn't much separating the #4 and #5 seeds.

“You have to do it,” coach Jamahl Mosley said after Thursday’s practice at Advent Health Training Center.

For all but four of his players, Game 6 will be the first time they face a postseason exit. Despite the added pressure that comes with it, guard Jalen Suggs isn't changing his approach.

“I do it the same way as the other games,” he said. “I continue to go into these games with a lot of confidence, great joy and a relaxed feeling knowing that the work has been done.” Everything – all the preparation, the training, the training, the learning moments – has already happened.

“Now it’s just about enjoying this moment and being fully present here. That's where I am in my head. [I am] ready to play, ready to be back home in front of the fans and ready to play a game on Sunday in Cleveland.”

Should Orlando avoid elimination and tie the series at 3 points, Game 7 would take place at 1 p.m. and be televised exclusively on ABC.

The television station is tuned to the Magic's home Game 6 on Friday against Cleveland

Before that, however, the Cavs and Magic could each be without a starter for Game 6.

Gary Harris was not a full participant in Magic practice Thursday and will be considered a game-time decision, Mosley said.

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Magic guard Gary Harris has averaged 3.8 points and 1.2 steals in 26.3 minutes in five starts against the Cavs. (Jason Miller/Getty)

The veteran guard, who started the first five games of the series, only completed the walkthrough portion of practice after missing the fourth quarter of Game 5 with a right hamstring strain.

For Cleveland, center Jarrett Allen did not practice on Thursday after missing Game 5 due to a bruised right rib from Game 4. He will travel with the team to Orlando and is expected to “try if he can,” Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff told reporters.

Allen and Harris are officially listed as questionable.

Bickerstaff moved Evan Mobley to center and stared Isaac Okoro in place of Allen to open Game 4.

“Not having Jarrett is a different game plan,” Mosley said when asked how Allen’s absence changes things for the Cavs. “They’re getting smaller, playing a lot faster and chasing a lot more 3s. There was a conscious effort to do this.

“Our ability to make sure we get back in transition, defend the 3-point line, but also shut down the possession so they're not able to get the offensive rebounds for the kickout 3s.” [is important.]”

Harris averaged 3.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.20 steals in 26.3 minutes in his five starts. He missed 28 games during the regular season due to injury, including 16 (December 27-29, January 5-31) due to a right calf strain. He also missed five games (November 4-14) due to a right groin strain.

He also struggled with a plantar fascia strain in his right foot, which forced him to miss four games between recovering and dealing with his injury in late March and early April.

The Magic finished Game 5 with Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Jonathan Isaac and Wendell Carter Jr., but Mosley has other options to replace Harris in the starting lineup.

Second-year pro Caleb Houstan made two starts (March 30 and April 10) in place of Harris in the final two weeks of the regular season. There's also freshman Anthony Black, who started 33 games but did so largely in place of guard Markelle Fultz.

Of the two, Houstan played the most significant minutes in the series.

Regardless of whether Harris is available or not, the Magic are determined to extend their season.

“We’re all hopeful,” guard Cole Anthony said. “This team is beatable. We’ve done it before and we can do it again.”

Jason Beede can be reached at [email protected]

If you go…

Magic vs. Cavs, Game 6

When: Friday at the Kia Center, March 7th

How to watch: Bally Sports Florida/ESPN

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