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Cavaliers 101, Magic 93: Magic fight back from 21-point deficit, lose in final minut

Orlando couldn't completely dig itself out the hole it built itself in the first half against Cleveland.

Tyler Zeller and Nik Vučević
Tyler Zeller and Nik Vučević
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic fought back from a 21-point deficit, eventually cutting Cleveland's lead to two-points late in the fourth quarter, but were unable to flip the script late as the Cavaliers pulled away, 101-93. The loss is Orlando's 14th consecutive on the road.

Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 22 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Luol Deng added 17 and Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson each chipped in 15 points.

Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic led Orlando in scoring with 23 and 20 points respectively. Vucevic also totaled 12 rebounds in the losing effort. Tobias Harris added 19 of his own and commandeered a third-quarter comeback with 12 points in the period.

Not a lot went right for the Magic in the first period. The Cavaliers jumped out to a 26-9 lead, before Kyle O'Quinn tossed a bounce pass to Afflalo in transition, which lead to a pair of free throws. Thompson was swallowed on the other end and Harris couldn't get a dunk off before the buzzer sounded.

Andrew Nicholson sparked the Pinstripes in the second quarter, providing nine points in his time on the floor during that period. He knocked down a corner-three, sunk a couple of mid range jumpers and completed a nice entry pass to Vucevic for an easy bucket.

With a little over a minute left, Afflalo received the ball on the right wing in transition and dribbled to his left, rose up, finished the shot and was fouled. The ensuing free throw cut Cleveland's lead to 13 points, 49-36, but Jarrett Jack sunk a corner-three on the other end. Irving drilled a long three on the Cavaliers' next possession, giving them a 55-36 lead heading into halftime.

Cleveland opened up its lead to 21 points in the third quarter before Harris knocked down a pair of corner triples on back-to-back possessions. Moments later, Harris received the ball in transition and attacked Zeller at the cup. He was fouled and his pair of free throws cut the lead to eight with just over five minutes in the third.

Harris then took to work on the low block, finishing a fall away jumper and then getting to the stripe on consecutive possessions, eventually dissolving the lead to four points. A C.J Miles jumper and a pair of Vucevic free throws brought the quarter to an end with the Cavaliers up, 72-68.

The Magic eventually got within two, but Cleveland bounced back with a mini-run. Minutes later, O'Quinn muscled his way to a bucket while screaming like he was flying down the apex of a roller coaster. A mid range jumper from Vucevic and an and-1 bucket from Afflalo got the lead back down to two points with two minutes remaining.

Zeller answered on Cleveland's next possession, corralling an offensive board and finishing through Vucevic and O'Quinn for the bucket and the foul. Harris drained a mid range shot the next trip up the floor and then Afflalo was called for a foul on Irving. Deng hit a long range jumper on the next possession, building Cleveland's lead back to eight points with under a minute left. It was ball game from there.