Denton: Magic vs. Cavaliers Analysis (12/13/13)


Orlando power forward Andrew Nicholson was hit with a Flagrant Two foul with 10.2 seconds remaining when he shoved Cleveland center Anderson Varejao in the back on a layup. Waiters briefly confronted Nicholson, who had his hands in the air and willingly backed off. Nicholson was ejected from the game for the foul and could be subject to NBA disciplinary action.

Magic coach Jacque Vaughn thought that Nicholson might have been frustrated by the Cavs trying to score while up by six points and 10 seconds left. Otherwise, Nicholson had a solid game with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

``I think it’s a progression of Andrew’s mentality,’’ said Vaughn, referring to the power forward’s improved physicality. ``I think he was concerned about it being the end of the game and I think his thought process was that they could’ve dribbled the (clock) out. I think that he reacted when he saw Varejao shoot the basketball at the end of the game. And, like I said, I think it’s a progression of Andrew’s mentality. I think that’s why he had double-digit rebounds tonight.’’

Added Nicholson: ``I didn’t mean to hurt him. I didn’t try to hurt him. I didn’t think I pushed him that hard. But it’s part of the game.’’

Cleveland, which came into the game a league-worst 1-10 on the road, won because all-star point guard Kyrie Irving scored 31 points and Waiters was spectacular in the second half.


Follow John Denton on Twitter here