Cohen: Magic-Cavaliers Postgame Analysis

By Josh Cohen
December 28, 2010

Since signing off on those two blockbuster trades 10 days ago, the Orlando Magic have showcased different qualities during their four-game winning streak.

Against San Antonio, the Magic exercised their ability to speed up the pace of the game and score in transition.

Against Boston, they underscored their resilience against an elite opponent and propensity to deliver clutch plays in the pivotal stages of a close game.

Against New Jersey, Orlando proved it could stiffen its defensive approach and rebuff its opponent from controlling any momentum in the second half.

Against Cleveland on Tuesday, it accentuated its potency to shoot effectively from 3-point range – a strength that the Magic have flourished on during the Stan Van Gundy era.

After escaping the blustery and snowy conditions in NJ and in spite of arriving in another bitterly cold environment, the Magic heated up inside Quicken Loans Arena and buried a season-best 19 3-pointers to break away from the Cavaliers for a 110-95 triumph.

Orlando holds the NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a game when it drilled 23 from beyond the arc against Sacramento during the 2008-09 season.

Gilbert Arenas, who registered his first double-double with the Magic with a game-high 22 points and 11 assists, connected on five from downtown, while Jason Richardson hit four treys, J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson each drained three of them and Ryan Anderson and Hedo Turkoglu sunk two from long distance.

Josh Cohen
"We shot the ball extremely well and we needed every one of them in the game today," Van Gundy said. "We won it with our shooting today, then clamping down a little bit when we needed to in the second half.”

Perhaps most impressive for Orlando was the fact that Dwight Howard, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds, rested on the bench the entire fourth quarter.

Richardson recorded 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field for the Magic, who outscored the Cavaliers by 14 in the final frame, while Turkoglu poured in nine points, six rebounds and five assists.

Another newcomer who shimmered was the seldom-used Earl Clark, who matched a season high with 12 points.

"I just played with confidence," Clark said.

After losing eight of nine, the Magic have won four straight and appear to be clicking on all cylinders. They have managed to overcome size deficiency after dealing away backup center Marcin Gortat.

Orlando will get its first look at the New York Knicks, who come to Amway Center on Thursday at 7 p.m. A scheduled meeting between the two teams was postponed in early November following maintenance problems at Madison Square Garden.

Here is a look at what went right, what went wrong and some final observations from the Magic's victory over the Cavaliers on Tuesday:


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