Denton: Magic-Cavaliers Postgame Analysis

By John Denton
January 30, 2011

ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic were determined not to be the team that lost to the team with one of the NBA’s most dubious losing streaks in 12 seasons.

The Magic sent the Cleveland Cavaliers to their 20th straight loss on Sunday night by getting a stellar start from franchise center Dwight Howard and a strong closing kick from blossoming forward Ryan Anderson in a 103-87 blowout win at Amway Center.

One year removed from having the best record in the NBA, Cleveland (8-39) incredibly hasn’t won since Dec. 18 and has endured the worst 31-game stretch in NBA history (1-30). The 20 straight losses are a single-season record for Cleveland and it is inching closer to the all-time record for consecutive losses of 24, set by the 1982 Cavs.

``I’ve been on teams like that my first couple of years in the league (in Golden State) where we lost 18 games in a row and all you want to do is get that monkey off your back,’’ said Magic guard Jason Richardson, who had 12 points and three assists. ``You definitely don’t want to be that team that loses to them. We wanted to dominate them from the beginning of the game and just bury them right away.’’

The Cavs were buried under 20 points and 20 rebounds from Howard, who rested the entire fourth quarter. Anderson cleaned up in garbage time of the game, scoring 16 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter. He also had a career-high in rebounds with 16 (nine on the offensive end) and made five 3-pointers. He was more proud of the defensive job he and Brandon Bass (12 points and eight rebounds) did on Cleveland’s Antawn Jamison (two of 11 shooting, seven points).

``Brandon and I had a big challenge guarding Antawn Jamison because he’s a guy who can score 30 on you,’’ Anderson said. ``Any team can beat any team, so we still needed to bring a lot of focus to this game. Games like this show that we still need to do plenty of work and keep improving out defense.’’

Here’s a look back at what went right, what went wrong and some final observations from Sunday’s romp against the historically woeful Cavaliers: