Notebook: Cavaliers 119, Magic 108



Posted Feb 9, 2013 12:24 AM

By Brian Dulik, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half as the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied for a 119-108 victory over the Orlando Magic Friday night. Center Marreese Speights added 18 points and five rebounds for surging Cleveland (16-34), while power forward Tristan Thompson had 16 points and five boards. The Cavaliers snapped their 10-game losing streak against Orlando (14-36), dating back to Feb. 11, 2010. Center Nikola Vucevic collected a career-high 25 points and a game-best 13 rebounds for the Magic, which extended its season-long losing streak to 12 games.

QUOTABLE: "Unfortunately, I'm not a psychic, so I can't predict the future. But I do know that we continue to grow daily. We'll definitely be better 2-3 years from now, if not 2-3 weeks from now."

-- Magic power forward Andrew Nicholson

THE STAT: Orlando owns the longest active losing streak in the NBA and has a 2-23 record since Dec. 21. The Magic's last victory came on Jan. 16 against Indiana, while its most recent road win was on Jan. 12 at the Los Angeles Clippers. "Basketball is a great game because it teaches you lessons every time out," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We complicate the game when it doesn't need to be complicated, which is why we struggle with turnovers." During their ongoing 12-game skid, the Magic's average margin of defeat is 10.6 points.

TURNING POINT: The Magic held an 80-77 lead with 2:24 left in the third quarter when the Cavaliers rattled off 13 straight points to take command. Shooting guard Wayne Ellington completed the run with a long 3-pointer that put Cleveland ahead 90-80. It marked the third straight game that Speights, Ellington, Shaun Livingston, C.J. Miles, and Luke Walton have played integral roles off the bench in Cavaliers wins. "We're just playing our game and helping each other on the defensive end," Ellington said. "It's nothing out of the ordinary."

QUOTABLE II: "We're trying to build a family here and we have a great group of guys who are willing to give a piece of themselves for the team. Our second unit outweighs the experience of our starters by a lot, I can tell you that."

-- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving

HOT: The Cavaliers are 6-2 since acquiring Speights, Ellington, point guard Josh Selby, and a first-round draft pick from Memphis in exchange for power forward Jon Leuer. ... Cleveland has won three straight home games and six out of its last seven contests at Quicken Loans Arena. ... Speights, who was a career-best 12-for-12 at the foul line, is averaging 15.1 points and 7.0 rebounds with the Cavaliers. ... Cleveland has scored at least 115 points in three straight games for the first time since Jan. 15-20, 1993. ... The Cavaliers tied their season low with six turnovers. ... Magic point guard Jameer Nelson tied his season high with 13 assists.

NOT: Magic point guards Nelson and E'Twaun Moore combined to miss 16 of their 22 field goal attempts. ... Nelson committed a game-high six turnovers and five fouls. ... Orlando's bench was outscored 51-13. ... The Magic is 2-14 on the road against Eastern Conference teams. ... Orlando power forward Gustavo Ayon logged his first "Did Not Play -- Coach's Decision" of the season. ... Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller did not attempt a field goal in 30 minutes, committed five fouls and was dominated on the other end of the court by Vucevic. ... Cleveland small forward Alonzo Gee was 2-for-8 from the floor, making him 8-for-31 over the last five games.

QUOTABLE III: "My expectations are a little bit higher than us going 11-11 in the last 22 games [since Dec. 22], but we're definitely making steps in the right direction. We're playing good basketball right now, but we can play better."

-- Cavaliers coach Byron Scott

GOOD MOVE: Vucevic aggressively attacked the basket and the boards from the start, recording a double-double in the first half with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The 7-footer from Montenegro finished the night 12-for-19 from the field and 1-for-1 from the foul line. "All year, I've tried to add different things, offensively, to my game," Vucevic said. "My teammates kept making a point to find me and got me the ball tonight." The rookie Nicholson also went right at Zeller and Thompson, netting 21 points and eight boards in 31 minutes.

BAD MOVE: The Magic's starting frontcourt of Vucevic, Nicholson and small forward Maurice Harkless committed 12 fouls, many of them by slapping at the basketball and reaching in when Cleveland's post players drove the lane. "Give credit to their bigs for being relentless going after the boards and forcing the referees to make those foul calls," Vaughn said. Despite big games by Vucevic and Nicholson, Orlando was outscored in the paint 50-42 because Speights, Zeller and Thompson combined to go 21-for-24 on free throws.

NOTABLE: Magic shooting guard Arron Afflalo scored 23 points in his first game since Jan. 27. He missed Orlando's previous six contests; four with a left calf strain and two because of personal reasons. "It was good to have Arron back," Vaughn said. "He makes us a better team." ... The Magic played without shooting guard J.J. Redick (right shoulder soreness), small forward Hedo Turkoglu (flu), power forward Glen Davis (left foot fracture), and small forward Al Harrington (right knee surgery). ... Incoming NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke with select Cavaliers season ticket holders and sponsors before the game, but did not meet with the media.

UP NEXT: For the Magic, Sunday vs. Portland, Wednesday vs. Atlanta, Feb. 19 vs. Charlotte. For the Cavaliers, Saturday vs. Denver, Monday vs. Minnesota, Wednesday vs. San Antonio.