Orlando Raises Energy Level, Still Lose to Champion Cavaliers

The Orlando Magic actually looked like a promising product on Saturday. Yes, Orlando lost 105-99 to the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Magic were finally in a close contest late with a chance to win for the first time under Frank Vogel’s reign.

Orlando was down by 22 points on a few occasions during the contest, but almost completed an amazing comeback by scoring 37 points in the 4th quarter. Some clutch J.R. Smith 3-pointers prevented that from happening.

Orlando shot 45.2 FG% including 8-of-28 on 3s (28.6 3PT%). The coaching staff will look at the 20 turnovers they coughed up along with the bad 15-of-26 free throw shooting. Orlando won the rebound battle, 50-40.

Evan Fournier led with 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Serge Ibaka woke up and looked spry, notching 19 points and 7 rebounds. D.J. Augustin sparked the comeback with the bench, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the fourth period. DJ had a team-high plus-minus of +11. Nikola Vucevic contributed 11 points and 9 rebounds, but wasn’t on the floor in the final quarter. Elfrid Payton contributed 10 points, 5 assists, and 4 boards. Jeff Green only shot 2-of-9, but added 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Cleveland shot 40.9 FG% including 11-of-37 on 3s (29.7 3PT%) as the Cavs went cold in the second half. LeBron James had 23 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds. Kyrie Irving chipped in with 20 points. Kevin Loved added nineteen. It was J.R. Smith that was the difference late as he had 16 points on 4-of-10 three-point shooting.

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