Coming off another loss at the hands of the Charlotte Hornets, the Orlando Magic returned home to host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. The Magic's offense disappeared in the fourth, helping the Cavaliers to a 109-103 victory.
Victor Oladipo got things going for the Magic early, attacking and knocking down shots left and right. Oladipo, who has been one of the teams better players of late, knocked down six of his eight attempts in the quarter, finishing with 16 of Orlando's 29. Unlike their previous meetings, the Magic brought a good energy level early, jumping in passing lanes and getting a couple of easy buckets. Thanks to strong offense, and good enough defense, the Magic found themselves up 29-27 after one.
The Magic continued their strong play in the early portion of the second quarter, going on a 7-0 run to push their lead out to nine. However, the Cavaliers quickly began heating up, knocking down six three-pointers in the quarter, led by Kevin Love's set of three balls. Cleveland took advantage of mismatches, shooting a sizzling 75 percent in the quarter, surging out to an 11 point lead of their own after a 11-0 run. Thanks to struggles defending the three-point line, and inconsistencies on offense, the Magic found themselves down nine, 63-54.
Out of halftime, the Magic came back to life, again thanks to strong play from Oladipo. The third-year guard scored 15 of Orlando's 32 points in the quarter, pushing his total to a new career-high 39. Orlando knocked down four three-pointers in the quarter, and took advantage of Cleveland being in foul trouble, attempting 12 free throws in the quarter. With the offense clicking, the Magic tightened up defensively, holding the Cavs to 20 points in the quarter, aiding them in taking a 86-83 lead after three.
With the lead heading into the fourth, the Magic seem poised to get their first win against the Cavs in over three years. Cleveland took control, however, controlling the pace of the game, and forcing the Magic into poor shots. Tristian Thompson continually beat the Magic on the offensive glass, giving the Cavs multiple second chance opportunities. Despite Oladipo's career night, the Magic were unable to take home the victory.
Kyrie Irving led the way for Cleveland, finishing with 26. LeBron James added 18 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, with Kevin Love and Channing Frye each finishing with 14. Thompson finished the night with 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Oladipo finished the night with a career-high 45, but scored just six in the final quarter. Prior to fouling out, Evan Fournier added 18, with Jason Smith scoring 10 off the Magic bench.