Cole Anthony Comes Up Clutch in Magic’s Win Over Cavs

by Josh Cohen

The Lead

Earlier this season, Cole Anthony, just 20 years old, made a miraculous game-winning 3-pointer against the Minnesota Timberwolves. On Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the rookie guard came up clutch again. He made three big baskets late, including a go-ahead driving layup with 45 seconds left, as the Orlando Magic pulled out a 109-104 victory.

Clutch Moments

Anthony, who finished 18 points, scored eight of the Magic’s final 11 points. Gary Harris scored on a drive with 1:11 left that extended Orlando’s lead to three and James Ennis III, back in the starting lineup after missing the last five games with a calf injury, buried a free throw 11.3 seconds remaining. Kevin Love, who had an otherwise rough night with just six points on 2-of-11 shooting, drilled a tying 3-pointer with 1:03 left.

Rookie Watch

Anthony and Chuma Okeke, two of the Magic’s top rookies, continue to make progress. Anthony has now scored in double figures in 11 of his last 12 games since returning from his rib injury, while Okeke, who had to leave the game after twisting his ankle with 3:50 remaining in the fourth, filled up the stat sheet with 18 points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.

Key Stat

The Magic shot 50.6 percent from the field. It was the first time they shot at least 50 percent since March 19 against the Brooklyn Nets. In the third quarter, when they outscored the Cavs by 15, the Magic shot 58.3 percent. Harris, who had his best game since coming to Orlando in the Aaron Gordon trade, made four of his seven shot attempts that period and finished with 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

Injury Report

Ennis, as mentioned above, returned from his calf injury and had seven points and seven rebounds. Okeke, highlighted above as well, twisted his ankle late in the fourth. Still out of action were Terrence Ross (back spasms), Michael Carter-Williams (sprained left ankle) and Otto Porter Jr. (left foot pain). Markelle Fultz (torn ACL, left knee), Jonathan Isaac (left knee rehabilitation) and Devin Cannady (right ankle, open dislocation) are out for the season.

Magic Debut

Signed Tuesday by the Magic for the remainder of the season, Moritz Wagner was on the court for nine minutes with his new club and finished with two points, two rebounds and one assist. This is Wagner’s fourth NBA team since getting drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. Born in Germany, the 6-foot-11, 245-pound center was a three-year star at the University of Michigan, where in his final season he led the Wolverines to the national championship game.

Quote of the Night

“Love it. That’s the best time. They call that crunch time. The last five minutes of the fourth quarter, something like that. Fourth quarter, whatever. I want the ball. I want to get it for the team,” – Anthony

Up Next

The first of two straight games between the Magic and Grizzlies will take place on Friday night in Memphis at 8 p.m. Led by Ja Morant, the Grizzlies have been one of the league’s surprise teams this season. Entering Wednesday’s action, they were tied with the San Antonio Spurs for eighth in the West and 1 ½ games back of the Portland Trail Blazers for seventh. They just went 4-3 on their longest road trip of the year.

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