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Keys to the Game: Cavaliers vs. Magic

Keys to the Game presented by: Key Bank


Magic Act

The Wine & Gold wrap up their four-game homestand – and a stretch of eight of their last nine at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse – when they host the struggling Orland Magic on Saturday night.

Saturday’s contest features two teams in desperate need of a win, each riding five-game losing streaks into the weekend matchup.

On Wednesday night, Phoenix ran it’s win streak to 14 games, but needed a big fourth quarter to get it done – shooting 61 percent in the period and cashing in on Cleveland’s late mishaps and missed free throws.

Jarrett Allen led the Cavaliers with 25 points, going 9-for-10 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the stripe, doubling-up with 11 rebounds while Cedi Osman continued his stellar play off the bench, netting 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, going 5-for-7 from long-range overall.

Darius Garland chipped in with 19 points and a team-high seven helpers before fouling out late in the fourth quarter and Lauri Markkanen notched his first double-double as a Cavalier – finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The young Magic have been bitten hard by the injury bug this season, beginning the campaign without the services of Markelle Fultz (knee), Jonathan Isaac, Michael Carter-Williams and E'Twaun Moore. The team’s top scorer, Cole Anthony, also missed his fourth straight game in Friday’s lopsided loss to the Bulls.

Orlando suffered its fifth loss of the season by 25 points or more on Friday night – with the Bulls blasting the Magic, 123-88. Wendell Carter Jr. doubled-up against his old squad with a game-high 26 points and 10 boards. The next-highest scorers were Orlando’s prized rookies – Franz Wagner (15 points) and Jalen Suggs (14).

The Cavaliers finally hit the road after Saturday’s matchup – traveling to Dallas for a Monday night meeting with the Mavs before stops in Miami (Wednesday) and Washington (Friday).


History

If the Cavaliers are able to get a win on Saturday night, it will even the all-time series between these two teams at 58-58, with the Magic – who’ve won seven straight over Cleveland – holding a one-game edge. The Wine & Gold put together a 17-game win streak over Orlando from 2013-17, but the tables have turned of late.

These two teams have only met once in the postseason – with Orlando prevailing in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals back in 2009.

The all-time single-game rebound leader against the Cavaliers is held by Nikola Vucevic, who grabbed 21 boards to go with 21 points in a six-point Magic victory in 2013. Cleveland’s single-game leader is the man that the Magic selected with the top pick of the second round back in 2004 – Anderson Varejao – who pulled down 25 rebounds in a Cavs victory the following season.


Connections

The Orlando Magic have one of the four former Cavs assistants who’s now an NBA head coach – with Jamahl Mosely joining Mike Malone, Stephen Silas and Tyronn Lue in that fraternity.

Mosely was with the Wine & Gold from 2010-14 – coaching under both Byron Scott and Mike Brown – before spending seven seasons with Dallas. The Milwaukee native – who played his college ball for Colorado, earning All-Big 12 honors in 2000 – began his coaching career with Denver as a video assistant in 2005.

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