The Orlando Magic fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, 91-85, despite strong performances from center Nikola Vucevic (21 points, 21 rebounds, a career-high-tying six assists) and combo forward Tobias Harris (a game-best 26 points, 12 rebounds). The Magic led by four points entering the final period, but Cleveland used a 10-0 run to take control of the game; the Magic never led in the final 7:54. Only two of Cleveland's 10 points during that run were scored by a starter.
The story is a familiar one for Orlando, which blew another fourth-quarter lead just two nights earlier against the Chicago Bulls. On Sunday, the Magic shot 6-of-24 for 19 points in the fourth period, clearly worn out from a five-game roadtrip during which the team has been shorthanded. Jameer Nelson is out with a sprained ankle, while Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo are out for the season with a broken foot and a strained hamstring, respectively. Further, Hedo Turkoglu isn't with the team, and coach Jacque Vaughn has elected to keep Al Harrington benched. As a result, the team's remaining players have had to shoulder a larger load than normal, and that extra burden is manifesting itself in poor shooting and slow defensive rotations late in games.
Cleveland's depth and outside shooting contrasted sharply with Orlando's, as the Cavs got an efficient 34 points from its reserves, and as a team went 7-of-17 from three-point distance. Veteran point guard Shaun Livingston was particularly impactful, with 12 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks off Cleveland's bench. He nearly outproduced the Magic's reserves (10 points, eight rebounds, two assists, three steals, two blocks) all by himself.