Magic Rally Past Cool-Shooting Cavs in Second Half

Simmons Scores 22 in Third Quarter, Cavs Go Cold in the Fourth
Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images

Wrap-Up -- The Cavaliers are truly a team in search of answers.

And with an opponent that rolled them by 28 points one month ago waiting for them on Wednesday at The Q – and a three-game roadie following that – they’d better figure it out quick.

The Wine & Gold scored 43 points in the first period and led by 16 at half, then proceeded to watch the Magic erase their edge in the third quarter and blow past them in the fourth, snapping Cleveland’s nine-game win streak at the Amway Center and stunning the reeling Cavaliers, 116-98.

Cleveland got progressively worse as the game progressed. The Cavs shot 68 percent from the floor, including 62 percent from deep in the first quarter – with JR Smith drilling four triples and Isaiah Thomas piling up 11 points in the period.

Neither Smith nor Thomas would score the rest of the way. Cleveland then watched Jonathan Simmons score 22 of his career-high 34 points in a third quarter in which the Magic shot 70 percent. Things got even worse in the fourth; Cleveland scored four points through the first ten minutes of the period and were outscored, 24-9.

The Magic came into the contest 20 games under .500, having dropped nine straight home games to the Cavs, playing on the second night of a back-to-back and missing their two best players, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic.

The Cavaliers, fresh off Saturday night’s home drubbing, are limping towards the All-Star Break – have dropped 13 of 19 dating back to their Christmas Day loss at Oracle Arena. And it doesn’t get easier between now and next week – with a Timberwolves team that thumped Cleveland by 28 on January 8 on deck and matchups against Boston and Oklahoma City to close out the season’s unofficial first half.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 25 points and 10 boards, adding five assists and a steal. But the four-time MVP was as ineffective as the rest of the squad after intermission – tallying nine points without a single rebound or assist in the second half.

JR Smith, Tristan Thompson and Jeff Green each finished with 12 points in the loss.

Smith went 4-for-6 from beyond the arc – but attempted just two shots after the first quarter. Thompson added nine boards – five off the offensive glass. Jeff Green came off the bench to go 4-of-8 from the floor to go with four boards.

LeBron James


Balanced scoring not enough for the Cavs in Orlando.

Isaiah Thomas had his best quarter as a Cavalier in the first – going 3-for-5 from the floor for 11 points in the period – but things went south from there, missing his final eight shots and failing to score the rest of the way. Thomas did hand out eight assists – his high-water mark as a Cavalier.

Dwayne Wade was the only other Cavalier in double-figures – finishing with 11 points, four boards and an assist.

Jonathan Simmons was unstoppable in the third quarter on Tuesday night – netting 22 of his game-high 34 points, going 7-of-8 from the floor in the period and 12-of-17 overall.

On the night, all five Magic starters tallied double-figures. Frank Vogel’s squad shot 53 percent on the night, outrebounded the Cavs, 50-35, scored 70 points in the paint and held Cleveland to zero fastbreak points after intermission.

Turning Point -- You could say that Jonathan Simmons was a one-man turning point in the third period when he single-handedly equaled the Wine & Gold’s point total and erased their double-digit halftime lead.

But it was the Cavaliers’ frigid span in the fourth quarter that ultimately spelled their undoing.

With just over a minute gone in the final period, Dwyane Wade drilled a three-pointer that tied the game at 92-apiece. Cleveland would proceed to go the next six-and-a-half minutes without a bucket. And by the time LeBron split a pair of free throws at the 4:35 mark, the Magic had completed a 16-0 run that essentially put the game on ice.

By the Numbers4 … games in the last six that JR Smith has canned at least three three-pointers, including Tuesday night’s. Over that stretch, Smith is averaging 12.0 points per and shooting .439 from beyond the arc.

QuotableLeBron James, summing up Cleveland’s rough second half in Orlando …

”A snowball kind of turned into an avalanche in the third and a 41-point third quarter is hard to come back from.”

Up Next -- The Cavaliers have a wild run towards the Break, beginning with the second-half of a midweek back-to-back on Wednesday night at The Q – welcoming Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and the T-Wolves to town. Cleveland then hits the road to close out the campaign’s unofficial first half – traveling to Atlanta for a Friday night meeting with the Hawks followed by a Sunday afternoon showdown against Kyrie Irving and the Celtics before wrapping up before the Break against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder on Tuesday.

Calls of the Game

#CavsMagic Postgame: LeBron James - February 6, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss to the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.

Cavs at Magic - February 6, 2018

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

#CavsMagic Postgame: LeBron James - February 6, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss to the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.
Feb 6, 2018  |  05:58

#CavsMagic Postgame: Coach Drew - February 6, 2018

Cavaliers associate head coach Larry Drew spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss to the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.
Feb 6, 2018  |  04:20

#CavsMagic Postgame: Isaiah Thomas - February 6, 2018

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss to the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.
Feb 6, 2018  |  03:45

#CavsMagic Postgame: Dwyane Wade - February 6, 2018

Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade spoke with the media following Tuesday's loss to the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.
Feb 6, 2018  |  04:40

LeBron James Scores 25 in Loss vs. Magic

LeBron James gets a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds but the Cavaliers fall to the Magic.
Feb 6, 2018  |  02:05

GAME RECAP: Magic 116, Cavaliers 98

Jonathon Simmons leads all scoring with 34 points to lead the Magic to a win over the Cavaliers. 116-98.
Feb 6, 2018  |  01:53

JG Rocks the Rim

Kyle Korver finds a cutting Jeff Green who deposits the dunk.
Feb 6, 2018  |  00:10

LBJ Darts Past the Defense

LeBron James drives past the Magic defense and gets the tough two to fall.
Feb 6, 2018  |  00:16

I.T. Drops Dime to Tristan

Isaiah Thomas draws the defense to him and drops the nice dime to Tristan Thompson for the easy dunk.
Feb 6, 2018  |  00:17

Jeff Green Throws the Hammer Down

Jeff Green crosses up the defense and throws the hammer down in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Feb 6, 2018  |  00:15

Tristan with the Power Slam

Tristan Thompson gets physical in the paint and powers home the dunk.
Feb 6, 2018  |  00:11

Featured Highlight: I.T. Lobs T.T.

Isaiah Thomas throws the perfect lob pass to Tristan Thompson who hammers home the alley-oop slam.
Feb 6, 2018  |  00:09

Swish Heats Up in the First

JR Smith gets the Wine & Gold off to a fast start in Orlando by canning his first three triple attempts.
Feb 6, 2018  |  00:36

#CavsMagic Shootaround: Coach Lue - February 6, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media prior to Tuesday's shootaround in Orlando.
Feb 6, 2018  |  03:13

Practice: Coach Lue - February 5, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Monday's practice in Orlando.
Feb 5, 2018  |  03:28

Practice: LeBron James - February 5, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Monday's practice in Orlando.
Feb 5, 2018  |  03:23