Cavs 3-Point Shooting Prolongs Orlando Misery
The Magic entered Cleveland on a 10-game road losing streak, for anyone who cared to know that tidbit. Make it eleven now. Orlando was outplaying and out-hustling Cleveland in every facet of the matchup…except for 3-pointers. 1-for-13 from deep for Orlando, and 7-of-17 for Cleveland. Magic lose 91-85 as a result of open Cleveland jumpers. Nik Vucevic’s third career 20-point and 20-rebound contest, just like his other two against the Miami Heat, was wasted Sunday evening. 21 points, 21 rebounds, and a career-tying 6 assists for ‘Vucci Mane’. Also wasted in yet another disappointing defeat, a stellar 26-point and 12-rebound performance from Tobias Harris.
Jacque Vaughn’s men appeared fantastic to open the contest before Cleveland started drilling open 3-pointers. A common theme. Tobias Harris, who was shooting 29.6 FG% in the previous 4 games, was determined to get out of his mini-slump. Mission accomplished Eight points out of the gate helps. So does Vucevic posting 8 points and 8 rebounds as Orlando held a 24-22 advantage after the initial twelve minutes.
Nikola Vucevic’s 42nd double-double of the season was already obtained at the midway mark of the second quarter. Orlando led 48-44 at the break mostly by holding the Cavs to just 36.2 FG%. The Magic did a wonderful job of attacking the paint and connecting with cutting teammates slipping behind Cleveland’s defense. Orlando entered the final period up 4 in what was a very competitive contest.
Kyle O’Quinn had to wait a half hour to receive 6 stitches to his lip because CJ Miles was receiving stitches across his head from a Vucevic elbow. That seems surreal to me. Once Kyle came in early in the fourth though, his 2 blocks in two seconds proved he was feeling okay. It’s too bad Cleveland went on a 10-0 run with Kyrie Irving on the bench to take a 74-70 advantage at the 7-minute mark of the fourth. You can imagine that there was no way Orlando would pull out with a victory once Irving checked back in. E’Twaun Moore was beyond abhorrent on this trip. A horrendous 0-for-7 against Cleveland and 4-of-34 (11.8 FG%) on this winless 5-game road trek. No coherent reason (other than to tank) to have Moore out on the court late. Orlando heads home as Magic fans can prepare for the JJ Redick reunion on Wednesday.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.