The Cavs haven’t won a game since they departed Orlando earlier this month.
After defeating the Magic 131-127 on January 6, the Cavaliers have dropped four straight, which included a 28-point loss to the Timberwolves and a 34-point loss to the Raptors. Overall they have lost eight of their last 10 games and now face the Magic, who are coming off what was arguably their most impressive win of the season.
Thanks to a career-high 32 points from Evan Founrier – and maybe because of the energy generated by a haymaker thrown by Arron Afflalo – the Magic upset the surging Timberwolves, 108-102, on Tuesday. The high-energy performance, anchored by big men Bismack Biyombo and Khem Birch, helped the Magic snap a seven-game losing streak (though they have still lost 27 of 32 games).
We’ll see if Orlando's new-found energy carries over into their match-up against the Cavaliers, who allow 109.4 points per 100 possessions, which is third worst in the league (just ahead of the Magic, who allow 108.8).
The Magic have lost 18 of their last 19 match-ups with the Cavs. Their lone win came in the third game of the season when they used exemplary ball movement in a 114-93 rout.
When the Cavs faced the Magic earlier this month, it marked the first start of the season for Isaiah Thomas. This time around, the Cavs may be welcoming back Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert, bolstering their depth.
James – who had 33 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists against the Magic on January 6 – is on the precipice of history. And it could come on Thursday if the Magic defense allows him to have a big scoring night. James is 41 points shy of becoming the seventh player to score 30,000 career points. At 33 years old, he is slated to become the fastest player to reach the milestone, edging out Kobe Bryant, who was 34 years old when he did so.
Looking forward to seeing Biyombo and Birch, who combined for nine blocked shots on Tuesday, challenge the King at the rim.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Join the discussion below!