The Magic return to Orlando for Thanksgiving with their first road win of the season.
Orlando, which had been 0-7 on the road, salvaged the final game of their four-game trip by defeating the Cavaliers, 116-104. One game after expressing disappointment in the Magic for a lack of ball movement and shot making, Steve Clifford was pleased with the effort of his shorthanded team.
“For me, why I feel good about our team is, you play three games on the road in a short period of time, it’s been a struggle, they could have put their heads down, could have come in here last game of the trip and mailed it in, a lot of teams in this league would do it, and I thought we fought hard,” Clifford said.
When the Orlando Magic get that first road win of the season... pic.twitter.com/zHKIi09e9V— Orlando Pinstriped Post (@OPPMagicBlog) November 28, 2019
Powering the Magic to victory was Evan Fournier, who scored a season-high 30 points, and Mo Bamba, who went 5-for-5 from three and delivered a third straight solid performance. The Cavaliers did their part as well, committing 25 turnovers that the Magic, a team that doesn’t always capitalize on the turnovers they force, scored 25 points off of.
“Biggest thing is we shot the ball probably about as well as we shot it all year,” Clifford said of the Magic, who shot 48.4 percent from the field, including 12-for-33 from three (36.4 percent).
Tied at 27 after a first quarter in which the Cavs outshot the Magic 55 percent to 44 percent, the Magic opened a 12-point lead in the second quarter. Fournier, who was coming off a 5-for-16 outing filled with forced shots that snapped his string of highly efficient shooting performances, scored 12 points in the second quarter and had 19 at the half. The Magic, who also got 10 first half points from Terrence Ross, led 59-52 at the break.
Fournier added nine points in the third, capped by a pair of free throws that gave Orlando its biggest lead at 87-70 with 46.4 seconds left in the quarter. That brought Fournier’s point total to 28, four shy of his career-high with more than a quarter remaining.
The Cavs, despite committing 21 turnovers through three quarters, stuck around a lot longer than they should have been allowed to. A floater by Colin Sexton (20 points) trimmed the Magic lead to 98-90 midway through the fourth. Markelle Fultz responded immediately by knocking down a three. On the next Magic possession, Bamba connected on his fifth three of the night to increase the lead to 104-90 and help seal the win and snap a three-game losing streak.
Fournier, quiet offensively in the fourth, finished with 30 points. He shot 10-for-22 from the field, including 4 of 9 from three, for his fifth 30-point game of his carer.
Bamba finished with 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting, hitting all five of his threes but oddly enough missing his lone shot at the rim, a concerning trend for him so far this season. Fultz had 15 points and four assists, shooting 7-for-12 from the field and making his lone three-point attempt. Also in double figures for the Magic was Ross and Jonathan Isaac, who each scored 16 points but combined to go just 2 of 12 from three. D.J. Augustin, who has been one of the culprits in the Magic’s overdribbling, found the open man against the Cavs, dishing out 10 assists to go with eight points.
The Magic finally return home, where they’ll face the defending champs on Friday and the shell that is left of the defending Western Conference champs on Sunday.