The Orlando Magic got a wake up call on Friday night’s game at the Amway Center. Actually, it was more like a brutal slap in the face. After going 3-2 on their recent west coast tour, LaBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers embarrassed them in their first game home, 111-76.
The Magic put up a fight and managed to make it look like it truly was a contest by trimming a Cavs lead to 22-20 at the end of the first quarter. And there was a glimmer of hope. LaBron appeared to twist his ankle at the end of the first quarter.
No such luck. The Cavaliers were too strong, too precise, too experienced and just too much for the road weary and overwhelmed Magic. The Cavs led by a score of 53-37 at the end of the half, and James led scorers with 20 first half points.
The destruction only continued in the second half. The Cavs continued to outplay, out shoot, and out hustle the Magic, keeping the hometown crowd quiet, except for occasional James dunks or meaningless Magic player acrobatics. At the end of the third the Cavs lead 83-52. Substitutions entered the game at this point and it was basically over.
Magic players expressed their disappointment. “”It was embarrassing, especially at home against the Cavs,” said Evan Fournier. “We played a terrible game. You don’t get much sleep after a game like that.”
It happens. I’m not going to say we needed a butt-whipping . . . but we need to understand that winning five games in a row doesn’t matter the first (20) games of the season,” said Channing Frye
It may have been a wake up call that the young Magic team needed. They have been over .500 team for the first time in years, but often had lapses in games when they had the lead. It’s a long NBA season and hopefully the bitter taste of this loss will stick with them.
The Magic now gear up for a trip up to Brooklyn to face the Nets on Monday night.