The Orlando Magic dropped to 0-2 in exhibition play Friday night with their 110-105 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cavaliers forward Anthony Bennett, the top overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to secure victory for the visitors. Second-year guard Dion Waiters had an efficient 21 points in 25 minutes for Cleveland.
On the Orlando side, Victor Oladipo led the team with 18 points in 18 minutes, shooting 7-of-13 from the floor but just 2-of-7 on three-pointers; the Indiana product, picked one slot after Bennett in June, also had eight boards, three assists, and a block. Nikola Vucevic added 15 points on 14 shots, while Arron Afflalo had a quiet 14 points.
Orlando took control of the game early, jumping out to a 37-26 first-quarter lead behind some hot outside shooting: the Magic went 6-of-9 from deep in the opening period. Good ball movement enabled Orlando to pick apart Cleveland's defense with precision, leading to 10 assists on 14 Magic baskets.
The Magic's halftime lead stood at 13 after ballooning to 18; the Cavaliers managed to hang around despite shooting 34.1 percent from the floor because of their ability to draw fouls. Four different Cavs attempted at least three free throws before intermission, and Cleveland as a team went 17-of-21 from the stripe. It played more physically than Orlando did and took advantage of the Magic's lack of size inside.
That struggle continued for the Magic as the Cavaliers made their comeback in the third quarter. Cleveland went 16-of-18 from the line due to 13 Orlando fouls. Were it not for Oladipo's pull-up jumper to end the third quarter, the score would have been tied at 84 entering the final frame.
Cleveland's defensive intensity may have caught Orlando off guard. The Magic finished with 25 turnovers for 28 Cavs points, and 15 of those turnovers were of the live-ball variety. That's a result of good D, yes, but is also a product of young Magic players being pressed into more handling responsibilities than usual: Oladipo, Tobias Harris, and Maurice Harkless accounted for 12 of Orlando's turnovers.
On Friday, Magic coach Jacque Vaughn used the same starting lineup from Wednesday's loss against the New Orleans Pelicans, with Kyle O`Quinn starting ahead of Harris and Jason Maxiell at power forward. He also platooned the starters and the second unit in the first half, using only two different five-man groups.