Playing in their final game of a four game home stand, the Orlando Magic hosted the new look Cleveland Cavaliers. The game, which was the Magic's league-leading 32nd of the season, also marked the start of a four-games in five-nights stretch, their third such stretch of the season. LeBron James wouldn't let the Cavaliers lose, however, taking over late to lead them to a 98-89 victory.
After a big win against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, the Magic got off to a somewhat slow start against the Cavs. Early in the first quarter, their offense was sloppy, and their defense was unable to stop Cleveland from scoring at will. However, the Magic began to find a rhythm on the offensive end with the ball moving and good shots opening up on many possessions. When the quarter was finished, the Magic finished with their highest first quarter shooting percentage of the season, making 13-of-18 from the field, good enough for a 72.2 percent shooting percentage. Kevin Love led all scorers with 13 in the quarter, with Evan Fournier leading the Magic with eight off the bench.
Despite the offense becoming stagnant at times, the Magic still looked good in the second quarter. Their defense picked up, forcing the Cavaliers into tougher shots, with their offense getting more good looks. Orlando also continued to shoot the ball at an extremely high rate, knocking down 59.5 percent of their shots (22-of-37) in the first half. Despite only scoring six points, Nikola Vucevic made a profound impact with his passing. He dished out five dimes in the half, one off of his career high of six, which he had done three previous times. Dewayne Dedmon gave the team high energy minutes off the bench, scoring eight points and grabbing six rebounds in the half. Love continued to lead all scorers, with 17 in the half.
Out of halftime, the Magic had to weather the storm that the Cavaliers brought. Cleveland made four three-pointers in the first few minutes of the quarter, to grab a two point lead. After getting the lead back, and losing it right back thanks to a three-point play from LeBron, the Magic went on a 10-0 run to grab a nine point lead. The Magic got after it on the defensive end, playing with energy on almost every possession, holding the Cavs to tough shots after their three-point barrage out of the gates. Love continued to lead all scorers with 22, while Fournier led the Magic with 15.
Holding a three point lead, the Magic just needed to continue to play with good energy on both ends to hold on for a big win. They were unable to do so, however, caving to the LeBron and the visiting Cavaliers. James began to take the game over, hitting tough shots on multiple occasions, while keeping Tobias Harris at bay on the defensive end. The Magic tried to have a shot late, getting a couple of big stops, but were unable to hold off the Cavs strong play late.
LeBron's big fourth quarter was enough for him to lead all scorers with 29 on the night. Despite not playing in the fourth, Love finished with 22. Dion Waiters rounded out Cavs in double figures, scoring 17 off the bench.
Orlando brough forth a much more balanced effort on the night, with five guys finishing in double figures. Harris led the way with 16 on the night. Fournier notched 15 off the bench, with Victor Oladipo finishing with 13 points and eight assists. Vucevic came close to a triple-double, finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds and a career-high seven assists. Ben Gordon rounded out Magic men in double figures, finishing with 10.