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Magic's Big Third Sinks Shorthanded Cavs

WRAP-UP

J.B. Bickerstaff’s squad has been fighting through injuries and early deficits through the first two weeks of the season. But on Monday night, those interrelated issues were too much to overcome.

After clawing their way back into the ballgame, the Cavaliers saw the Magic build a big third quarter lead and pull away down the stretch – handing Cleveland the 103-83 loss in the first of two in Orlando.

Already without the services of Kevin Love, Isaac Okoro, Matthew Dellavedova, Kevin Porter Jr. and Dylan Windler, the Cavs added Darius Garland to that list just before tipoff and lost Dante Exum to a right calf strain in the first minute of the ballgame.

Once again, Cleveland got off to a sluggish start and trailed by double-figures again in the first quarter, but a strong second quarter made things competitive just before the break. But Orlando busted the game open after intermission, dropping the Wine & Gold to 1-2 on their current six-game sojourn.

The Cavaliers were led by Collin Sexton, who topped the 20-point plateau for the seventh consecutive occasion to start the season and in 12 straight dating back to last year – finishing with 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including 2-of-4 from long-range.

But even the Young Bull was frustrated through most of Monday night, battling foul trouble most of the game and leading both squads with six miscues.

Cedi Osman had a strong night in 38 minutes off the bench – following up with 18 points on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, adding seven boards, seven assists, two steals and a block.

Damyean Dotson got the start with Garland out with a right shoulder strain and performed well – netting 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-6 from long-range.

Despite struggling from the floor, Andre Drummond tallied his seventh straight double-double to start the season – finishing with 10 points and a game-high 14 boards, going 5-of-15 from the floor to go with four assists, a steal and a block.

Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic did most of the damage for Orlando. Gordon was 6-of-9 from deep and doubled-up with 24 points and 11 boards; Vucevic added 23 points, eight boards, two steals and a game-best three blocks.

Miss any of the action? Find all the highlights and photos in the Game Tracker.

HIGHLIGHT

Cedi Osman gets inside, throws a pass up to Larry Nance Jr. who catches it and dunks with two hands to complete the ally-oop.

TURNING POINT

Monday night’s turning point was so distinct, it turned out to be the final margin in the game.

The Magic scored the first 10 points of the game before Cleveland got on the board, but the Cavs closed the first quarter strong and behind strong second periods from Cedi Osman and Damyean Dotson were within four at intermission.

But in the third quarter, the Cavaliers went cold – going 6-of-22 from the floor – and Orlando got hot – hitting on 14-of-22 shots, including 6-of-10 from long-range and all four free throws. Aaron Gordon was especially lethal, finishing with 13 points in the period, going 5-of-6 from the floor, drilling all three threes he attempted.

The Magic would proceed to outscore Cleveland, 38-18, in the quarter.

BY THE NUMBERS

By the Numbers1, 1, 2, 3, 5 … Andre Drummond’s respective NBA rankings in rebounding (14.2rpg), offensive rebounding (3.8Orpg), defensive rebounding (10.3Drpg), steals (2.0spg) and blocked shots (2.0bps).

The league’s leader in steals is Larry Nance Jr. at 2.67spg.

QUOTABLE

Cedi Osman, on the Cavs fighting through shorthanded struggles …

"We just have to stick to the plan. We have to stay together as a team. We have great veterans on this team – Andre, McGee, KLove, Delly. We’re really lucky to have them; they’re the ones keeping this team together. J.B. and the coaches are doing the best for us so we feel comfortable on the court. When things go bad, we just have to stay together and support each other no matter what. If somebody makes a mistake, we’re gonna pick him up and be with him no matter what. That’ the only way we can be successful."

CALLS OF THE GAME

Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito from Power 89.1.

UP NEXT

After Monday night’s blemish, the Wine & Gold will try to split their trip to Orlando – and the six-game roadie overall – on Wednesday when they play the second of two in the Magic Kingdom.

That rematch against the Magic is also the first half of a back-to-back, with the Cavaliers traveling to Memphis for a Thursday night meeting at the GrindHouse before closing out the trip on Saturday against the Greek Freak and Co. in Milwaukee.