After two disappointing losses to losing teams during their playoff hunt, the Orlando Magic defeated their next cellar-selling opponent, the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-91 at the Amway Center last night.
The Magic drew a lager crowd than I expected last night, 18, 091 fans cheered them on as they played one of their best games according to Steve Clifford.
”I just liked the way we approached the whole game. This is one of the better games we’ve played,” said Clifford. ”Since the All-Star break, we’ve had three or four good ones, but none any better than that.”
Aaron Gordon scored 21 points with D.J. Augustin adding 20 points and 7 assisted as Orlando dismantled the Cleveland.
After losing games to Memphis and Washington on a recent road trip, this game was a must win for Orlando’s playoff hopes.
“(CLE) is here & we’re tired and we have a lot of guys who played a lot of minutes (Wed) night (in WASH).” said Clifford “But these are the type of games that you have to be able to play well. That’s what this league is all about & you can’t hide from that.”
The Magic managed a 48% shooting percentage and dominated in fast break points 18-8 with 11 steals. Not bad defense for the second night of a back to back.
Colin Sexton scored 23 for the Cavaliers with Jordan Clarkson adding another 15. Kevin Love, who had 5 fouls by the third quarter had an uninspired 10 points with 8 rebounds.
As of this writing, the Magic are 1.5 games behind the Miami Heat for the 8th playoff spot with 13 games remaining.
The Magic have two days off before facing the Atlanta Hawks at Amway Center on Sunday.