Magic Musings: Orlando makes it interesting before falling to Cavs
The Orlando Magic certainly made things interesting Wednesday night before suffering their 14th consecutive road defeat.
After falling behind 15-2 early on and trailing by 19 points at halftime, the Magic were within two points of the red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers with two minutes to go. But they got no closer than that in losing 101-93 and are still in search of their first victory away from home since Dec. 16 at Chicago.
Arron Afflalo led all scorers with 23 points, while Nikola Vucevic finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds. While Jameer Nelson had a 2-of-11 shooting performance, he handed out nine assists and didn't commit a turnover until the final minute.
The Magic had a season-low six turnovers in all but shot only 39.3 percent from the floor, including a 3-of-21 showing in the first quarter. As was the case Tuesday night at Milwaukee, they were outshot at the free-throw line, where they went 17 of 24 compared to 30 of 37 for the Cavs.
Even without center Anderson Varejao (back) and guard Dion Waters (left knee hyperextension), the Cavs extended their winning streak to six games. They have also taken their last six meetings against the Magic.
Glen Davis went scoreless with one rebound in the opening 5:42 before leaving with what Magic officials said was a sore right Achilles tendon. He had only two points and two rebounds at Milwaukee, and his absence over the final three quarters might fuel speculation that the veteran forward will be traded before Thursday's deadline.
Kyle O'Quinn started in Davis' place to begin the second half and finished with 10 points and eight rebounds in a season-high 28 minutes before fouling out.
THE TURNING POINT
With the Magic down only 89-87 after Afflalo's basket with 2:07 remaining, the Cavs got a three-point play from Tyler Zeller, two free throws from Kyrie Irving and a 3-point basket from Luol Deng.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Irving, the MVP of the NBA All-Star Game, almost outscored the Magic by himself in the first quarter and ended up with 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
STAT OF THE GAME
The 11 points in the first quarter were the fewest by the Magic in any quarter this season. They had a pair of 13-point third quarters, most recently at Indiana on Feb. 3.
Friday night vs. New York, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida).