Cavs 36-Point Fourth Quarter Too Much for Orlando Magic
With ten seconds remaining Orlando was still fighting, as Andrew Nicholson was ejected for a flagrant 2 foul committed on a flopping Anderson Varejao, but it was too little too late as Orlando’s 109-100 defeat against the Cavs sent the Magic home empty.
Getting thrown out was a bad way for Nicholson to leave after tallying his 5th career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Too little too late indeed for Orlando as the Magic seemed to just sit and observe Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving abuse them in crunch time. Cleveland’s guards combined for 52 points on Friday night and the Cavs scored 36 4th quarter points to erase Orlando’s three point lead heading into the final quarter.
Victor Oladipo finished with a season-high tying 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting with 4 steals and 3 blocks. I’m sure Jacque regretted sitting Victor for 5 minutes of that fourth period when the wheels fell off the bus.
Andrew Nicholson on the Varejao flagrant foul: “I didn’t meant to hurt him. I didn’t try to hurt him. I don’t think I pushed him that hard. But it’s part of the game.”
- Cleveland entered the evening 1-10 on the road this season and it wasn’t difficult to notice why. The Cavs showed zero inspiration to be out on the parquet floor and Orlando jumped to a 19-8 lead to begin the contest. Victor had eight of those early points.
- Entering the evening, Orlando had won 10 of the last 13 meetings with the Cavaliers. The Cavs have now won 5 of their last 6 league games. Give Cleveland credit for giving Vucevic and Afflalo trouble.
- More exciting: Dennis Scott being honored on ‘Legends Night’. More thrilling than Pat Williams, David Steele, and equipment mastermind Sid Powell being honored, we got our #FreeEarlClark tribute video. It was glorious. Earl finished with 9 points, all on 3-pointers.
- Tobias Harris checked in at the 1:16 mark of the 1st quarter for just his second game of the season and he had the privilege of going up against 2013 #1 draft bust (so far) Anthony Bennett. It didn’t take long for T12 to attack the rim at will like we saw him do regularly at the end of last season. Tobias still has rust, but he finished with 10 points and 5 boards.
- Orlando led 28-19 after one quarter. That’s mostly because of the ridiculous 17-0 fast break point advantage the Magic held. Orlando finished with a season-high 25 fast break points as Cleveland made sure to protect the ball better for the remainder of the game.
- Earl Clark wasn’t a strong 3-point shooter as a member of the Magic but he had three of them in the first half, and Cleveland stormed back to tie the game at 40-40 late in the second period. Orlando was struggling mightily to find offense after a hot start.
- Despite 16 first half points from Kyrie Irving, Orlando maintained a 51-50 lead at the break. Oladipo was the only pinstriped patrolmen in double digits with ten.
- Cleveland took the lead 57-55 at the 9-minute mark of the third period as we got to hear some boo birds ring out. Props to Oladipo for displaying his high motor on both ends of the court and sparking a 9-0 run. Showed outstanding defensive prowess, and the rookie was draining his Gilbert Arenas-like jumpers.
- The 3rd period transformed into an intriguing Kyrie-Victor guard duel. In the quarter, Irving had 11 while Oladipo poured in 12. Orlando led 76-73 going into the last period of regulation thanks to an Andrew Nicholson floater. Cleveland had ZERO turnovers, and would only cough up two in the fourth. The Magic obviously need to do a much better job of forcing their opponent into mistakes – especially teams that despise their own teammates.
- Dion Waiters had one point at halftime, and then had a span in the fourth period where he made Cleveland’s first 14 points in the period and made us all forget the nice production Nicholson and Tobias were providing.
- Cavs were up 95-85 with 5:30 remaining after Matthew Dellavedova drilled a 3-pointer. He was slated to be on the Magic’s Summer League roster before he wisely backed out and signed a deal with Cleveland. I’m a fan of the Aussie who notched 9 points.
- It was 101-90 Cleveland before Oladipo racked up four straight and Afflalo drilled two free throws to cut it to within five points with 1:06 to go. Again, too late. Cleveland’s 36-point period proved to be too much.
Orlando hits the road again for a quick trip to OKC Sunday night and then in Chicago on Monday before returning back to O-Town for the holiday home stretch.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.