Wrap-Up — After losing 17 straight regular season contests to the Wine & Gold, the Magic had a lot of frustration to take out. And they did exactly that against a flat Cavaliers club on Saturday night at The Q.
For the first times since November 2012, the Magic topped Cleveland – building a three-touchdown lead late in the second quarter and barely looking back the rest of the way, handing Tyronn Lue’s squad the 114-93 defeat, their first of the season.
The Cavaliers were just beginning the process of figuring out the rotation when Derrick Rose went down with a left ankle injury late in Friday night’s win in Milwaukee. With Rose sidelined, Jose Calderon – who hadn’t yet played with LeBron James – got the start, and Cleveland’s rhythm was off from the opening tip.
Adding insult to injury, the Magic were without two of their top three players – Aaron Gordon, out with an ankle injury, and Elfrid Payton, who left Friday night’s loss to Brooklyn late in the fourth with a hamstring injury.
LeBron was the only Cavalier to get off to a decent start, netting 14 of his team-high 22 points in the first period, going 8-for-15 from the floor overall to go with four boards, two assists and a steal.
Kevin Love did the bulk of his heavy lifting in the second quarter – going 6-of-9 for 13 points in the period and finishing with 19 points on 8-for-17 shooting overall. Love (along with Tristan Thompson) led the Cavaliers with nine boards.
The only other Cavalier to make any kind of impact in Saturday’s loss was Iman Shumpert – who got the second half start in place of Calderon and went off for 18 of his 21 points after intermission. On the night, Shump went 4-of-5 from long-range and 7-for-10 from beyond the arc, adding seven boards and a pair of assists.
No other Cavalier finished with more than two field goals, with Cleveland’s two top long-range marksmen, Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith combining to go 2-for-11 from the floor, 0-for-6 from deep.
Check out Saturday’s stats.
View snapshots from The Q.
Full final game highlights.
The Magic featured six players in double-figures, led by Nikola Vucevic – who followed up his 41-point outburst against Brooklyn with a 23-point showing against the Cavs, going 11-of-16 from the floor to go with seven boards, five helpers and game-high three blocks.
On the night, the Cavaliers shot just 38 percent from the floor and 28 percent from long-range. The Magic, meanwhile, canned 17 triples on the night, outrebounding Cleveland by six and handing out 28 assists to the Cavaliers’ 15.
Turning Point — There wasn’t much of a turning point on Saturday night. Orlando jumped on the Cavaliers from the opening tip – jumping out to a 22-6 lead and holding the Wine & Gold under double-figures for the first nine minutes of the ballgame.
Cleveland chipped away in the second quarter, but couldn’t get within 10 before intermission.
Dwyane Wade’s three-pointer halfway through the third got the Wine & Gold to within seven, 65-58, but Vucevic scored on Orlando’s next possession and the Magic pulled away from there, capping the quarter on a 23-7 run and taking a 23-point edge into the fourth.
By the Numbers – .600 … LeBron James’ field goal percentage (30-of-50) through the first three games of the 2017-18 season.
Quotable – Coach Tyronn Lue, on his squad’s underwhelming performance on Saturday night …
”I thought coming off of a big win last night, and coming back home to validate it, we didn’t do a good job of that. When D-Rose (Derrick Rose) went down, that really hurt us. It hurt our pace, hurt us getting to the paint and driving the basketball. We just have to figure it out until he gets back.”
Up Next — After wrapping up their first back-to-back of the season, the Wine & Gold get a couple days off before welcoming the Bulls to town on Tuesday night, traveling to Brooklyn the following evening for a matchup with the Nets. Cleveland stays on the road, taking on Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and the Pelicans on Saturday night before returning home to close out the month of October with a Sunday night showdown against Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks.