Mar 23, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) dunks over Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson (13) during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE
The Orlando Magic continued their recent mastery over the Cleveland Cavaliers, as they defeated the Cavaliers for the eighth consecutive time 93-80. Good ball movement and balanced scoring was the key to the Magic victory, as the Magic had 24 assists on 37 field goals. The team still struggled hanging onto the ball, as they committed 20 total turnovers, but the Magic outscored the Cavaliers 86-66 from the field, made 12 three-pointers, and outshot Cleveland 46.8% to 37.8% to more than make up for their 20 turnovers.
Ryan Anderson scored 17 points along with 8 rebounds, though he shot just 5 of 14, including 3 of 11 on threes. Dwight Howard, who picked up his fourth foul late in the third quarter, scored 16 points on 7 of 8 shooting along with 13 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Hedo Turkoglu had his best all-around game in a while, scoring 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting, including 3 of 5 on threes, along with 7 assists and 6 boards, though he did commit 4 turnovers. Jason Richardson scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half, and Jameer Nelson did a nice job running the point, as he dished 7 assists to just one turnover, along with 10 points.
Five Cleveland players scored in double figures, led by forward Antawn Jamison with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Tristan Thompson, matched up against Howard, added a double-double, with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks. Rookie-of-the-year favorite, point guard Kyrie Irving, scored 13 points, along with 6 assists.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
|Green denotes a stat better than the team's season average;
red denotes a stat worse than the team's season average.
The Magic started the game out rather slowly, with Cleveland leading 10-6 after an Alonzo Gee layup with 4 1/2 minutes gone, before coming to life. The Magic went on a 23-6 run over the next 6:21, and led 29-16 after a J.J. Redick three-pointer. The Magic led 31-20 after the opening frame, making 5 of their 11 three-point attempts, with both Anderson and Turkoglu scoring 7 points.
The Cavaliers would cut into the Magic lead in the second quarter, as they trailed 36-31 after an Omri Casspi basket with 6:15 remaining in the half. The Magic would then go on a 19-9 run to end the half, with Richardson hitting a three and scoring 7 points. Anderson and Nelson also connected on three-pointers during this run, as Orlando led 55-40 at the half. Dennis Neumann and Richie Adubato of the Magic Radio Network each commented that they thought the Orlando ball movement in the first half was the best that they have seen in a while, with crisp passing and finding the open man. The Magic had 16 assists at the half on 23 field goals. Anderson led the Magic with 13 first-half points, and Richardson with 11 points.
Orlando continued to build their lead in the third quarter, with their largest lead of the game coming at 66-46 after a Howard slam with 7:39 remaining. To Cleveland's credit, they did not quit, going on a 15-1 run in the next 5:42 to cut the Magic lead to 68-61 after Jamison split two free throws on Howard's fourth foul. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy took Howard out of the game at this point. The Magic led after three 72-63, but with Howard on the bench.
The Cavaliers would get no closer the rest of the way. Credit Orlando's defense, as they held Cleveland to 17 fourth-quarter points on 32% shooting. The Magic built their lead back up to 79-65 after a Chris Duhon three pointer with under 8 minutes remaining. When Howard returned to the game with 5:20 remaining, the Magic had a comfortable 86-70 lead and held their largest lead of the game at 91-70 after a Turkoglu three with 4:05 remaining. The Magic cruised to the 93-80 final as Earl Clark, Ish Smith, DeAndre Liggins, and Daniel Orton all played the final two minutes, but the team went scoreless in that time.
The Magic enjoy a rare weekend off before getting back into action Monday night at Toronto.
Other game notes:
-Glen Davis led the Magic reserves with 9 points and tied a season-high with 3 assists on 4 of 12 shooting; he played well on defense with 6 rebounds, a steal, and a block.
-Redick added 8 points along with 4 assists.
-This was only the second game since February 11th that Turkoglu scored at least 15 points along with 50% or better shooting.
-After scoring 55 first-half points on 56% shooting, the Magic scored 38 second-half points on 37% shooting.
-The Magic made 25 of their 44 two-point attempts (57%).