Wine and Gold Best Magic at The Q
Wrap-Up – After dropping ten straight, the Cavaliers season was slipping away down the stretch. But, even with their All-Star mired in a shooting slump, the Wine and Gold bounced back to win their second consecutive game – rallying past the Magic in the fourth quarter for the 91-85 victory on Sunday at The Q.
Cleveland trailed through much of the first three quarters, but found their footing early in the fourth and held off the Magic down the stretch. As a team, the Cavaliers shot just 36 percent from the floor – with Kyrie Irving going just 3-for-15. But Byron Scott’s squad knuckled down when it counted, holding the Magic to just 25 percent shooting in the fourth and going 11-for-12 from the stripe in the final period to secure the win.
The Cavaliers got a scare in the second quarter when C.J. Miles took a Nikola Vucevic elbow to the forehead, opening up a vertical gash that required six stitches that sidelined Miles for the rest of the night.
Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson followed up strong efforts in Boston with big games in Sunday’s win. Gee led Cleveland with 19 points and seven boards and Thompson notched his 28th double-double of the season with 15 points, 16 rebounds and a game-high three blocks. Shaun Livingston was big off the bench – finishing with 12 points, six boards, six assists and a pair of blocked shots. And despite shooting poorly, Irving still netted a game-high 10 assists to go with nine points.
Turning Point – It was the Wine and Gold’s second unit to the rescue again on Sunday. Led by Mo Speights, Kevin Jones and Livingston, the Cavaliers used an 8-0 run early in the fourth quarter to retake the lead. Orlando cut Cleveland’s edge to a single point on a pair of occasions, but was unable to catch the Cavaliers down the stretch.
Game Ball – Tristan Thompson – Over his last two games, the second-year big has been the Cavaliers’ driving force. He came up with another strong effort against Orlando, grabbing half of his 16 boards off the offensive glass and netting six of his 15 points and four of his 16 boards in the final five minutes of Sunday’s victory.
By the Numbers – 48.0-23.3 … Average bench scoring for the Cavaliers vs. Orlando in the teams’ last three meetings, all Cleveland victories.
Quotable – Tristan Thompson, when asked what it says that the Cavaliers shot just 36 percent and still got the victory …
“That defense wins games.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers wrap up the season over the next week-and-a-half. They travel to Indiana for a Tuesday night matchup with the Pacers and return home for a Wednesday meeting with Detroit. On Friday, the Cavs welcome the Knicks, travel to Philly to face the Sixers on Sunday, welcome the Heat on Monday night and close the season out next Wednesday night in Charlotte.