Magic Pull Away from Cavs

Cool-Shooting Cavs Fall in the Magic Kingdom
Tristan Thompson
Friday night’s matchup with the Magic was an odd affair. The Cavaliers never seemed out of the game and, for most of the evening, they never seemed in it. Either way, the finally tally was the same – with the Wine and Gold dropping a 93-80 decision at the Amway Center.

The Cavaliers fell behind by double-figures late in the first quarter, and a 9-2 Magic run to end the first half sent them to the locker room down 15.

The third quarter began how the second ended and Orlando pushed their advantage to 20 – 64-44 – three minutes into the second half. But Cleveland clawed back and Kryie Irving’s jumper at the third quarter buzzer got them back to within single-digits, 72-63.

The Cavaliers kept within striking distance throughout the final period, but J.J. Reddick and Hedo Turkoglu canned three-pointers to ignite a 9-0 Magic run that put the ballgame out of reach.

“We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and understand the number one thing is it’s a 48-minute game,” said Coach Scott. “You can’t have the lulls that we’ve had offensively or defensively.”

Antawn Jamison led five Cavaliers in double-figures with 16 points on 8-for-18 shooting, adding nine boards.

Rookie Tristan Thompson did very well in his first start against Dwight Howard – doubling up with 15 points, a team-high 11 boards and the Cavaliers’ only two blocked shots of the game.

“Being able to play against (Howard) for the first time is definitely something I am going to take notes from and look at film to see what I did good and what I need to work on,” said the freshman forward. “The next time I play him, I want to make it more difficult for him.”

Kyrie Irving finished with 13 points and six of the Cavaliers’ 10 assists. Irving went 6-for-15 from the floor and added four boards, but didn’t make a single trip to the stripe and failed to score in limited fourth-quarter action.

Alonzo Gee rounded out the starters in double-figures with 10 points, but shot just 3-for-12 from the floor. Omri Casspi led the second team with 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting.

As a team, the Wine and Gold shot 38 percent from the floor, including 22 percent from long distance. Orlando shot 47 percent from the field and had 24 helpers to just 10 for the Cavs.

Ryan Anderson led Orlando with 17 points and Dwight Howard added 16 to go with a game-high 13 boards.

The Cavaliers wrapped up their three-game roadie at 1-2 and return to The Q for a Sunday afternoon meeting with Steve Nash and the Suns.

  • With the Cavaliers staying at the Grand Lakes golf resort in Orlando, as part of a team-building exercise, Coach Scott and his staff took the players out to the driving range for an impromptu skills challenge.

    Coach Scott claimed that Anthony Parker and Antawn Jamison had the best golf swings of the bunch, and made no bones about who had the worst.

    “Without a doubt, Tristan Thompson,” smiled Scott. “Worse than Charles Barkley. It’s the worst swing I’ve ever seen in my life, by far.”

  • Manny Harris got extended minutes in his second straight game, finishing Friday night with seven points, three boards and a steal in 25 minutes.

    “One thing with Coach Scott – you have to be consistent,” said the second-year guard. “I knew I was going to play because Boobie was injured, but he’ll be back soon, so you have to see how it plays out. But I’ll be ready for whatever.”

  • The Cavaliers have already won more road games this season than all of last, and their defense is the reason. This year, they’re surrendering almost eight points less away from The Q – 107.5 ppg to 99.8.

  • Ten days after fellow first-rounder, Tristan Thompson, turned 21, Rookie of the Year frontrunner Kyrie Irving celebrated his 20th birthday on Friday.

  • Before Friday’s matchup, Stan Van Gundy heaped some high praise on the birthday boy: “He’s as good as anybody we’ve had come into this league at that position since I’ve been around,” said Van Gundy.

  • Veteran Luke Walton, acquired in the Ramon Sessions’ trade at the Deadline, saw his first action as a Cavalier on Friday night in Orlando.