A pair of Eastern Conference teams take the floor on the shores of Lake Erie. The Orlando Magic makes the trip up the east coast as they face the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night. Orlando comes in off a 128-114 home win over Phoenix in their previous game Wednesday night. Cleveland was clobbered 127-94 at home by Detroit Tuesday night in their latest contest. The Cavaliers hold a 57-54 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the teams but the Magic has taken the last three matchups. That includes a pair of victories this season, including a 116-104 road win in the most recent meeting on November 27.
Orlando Magic Seeking Fourth Straight WinOrlando has suddenly found some offense as they have won three in a row to get within a game of the .500 mark after taking down Phoenix Wednesday night. The Magic entered Thursday’s action second in the Southeast Division, five games behind the Heat. On the plus side, they did own the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by two games over Charlotte. Orlando trailed by six after the opening quarter before taking control of the game by outscoring Phoenix 72-49 in the middle two stanzas to take a 17-point lead. The Magic didn’t let the Suns closer than the final margin in the fourth quarter. Orlando shot a sizzling 57.6 percent from the field, including 14 of 25 from three-point range, and controlled the glass 45-29 to overcome 19 turnovers. Aaron Gordon put up a season-high 32 points with five rebounds and five assists in the win to lead Orlando.
Last night marks the third time in franchise history that we have scored 125+ in consecutive games. (and it's our third straight win!) pic.twitter.com/ynyL1FwaKA— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) December 5, 2019
The Magic is 29th in the league in scoring offense with 103.5 points per game so far this season. Orlando is 13th in the league in rebounding with 45.8 boards per contest and 24th with 22.5 assists per game this season. The Magic is third in the league in scoring defense as they allow only 103.4 points per contest. Nikola Vucevic contributes 17.1 points plus 11.6 rebounds per contest this season. Evan Fournier is leading the team with 19.8 points per game this season. Terrence Ross (12.6 points), Markelle Fultz (12.1 points) and D.J. Augustin (9.6 points, 4.6 assists) have contributed on the offensive end. The Magic needs more consistency from Aaron Gordon (13.8 points, 6.6 rebounds), Al-Farouq Aminu and Jonathan Isaac (12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds) in order to have success. Orlando is 27th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 43.5 percent from the floor as a team. The Magic are 26th in the league in threes per game as they knock down 10.1 triples per contest while the team is tied for 27th in three-point shooting by converting 33 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Vucevic just got out of a walking boot for his ankle injury while Aminu is out indefinitely with a torn meniscus.
Cleveland Cavaliers Hoping to Get Back in Win ColumnCleveland was pasted at home by Detroit in their last game to suffer their fourth straight defeat. The Cavaliers entered Thursday in the basement of the Central Division, 13 games behind the Bucks. As far as the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference goes, Cleveland entered Thursday 13th in the standings, 4.5 games behind the Magic for the final playoff spot. The Cavaliers were down four after the opening quarter before things unraveled. Cleveland was outscored 65-40 in the middle two quarters and that told the tale of the game. The Cavaliers shot 42.2 percent from the field, including eight of 27 from three-point range, and was torched by Detroit shooting 54.3 percent in the contest. Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 22 points in the loss.
The Cavaliers are 28th in the league in scoring this season with 104.2 points per game. Cleveland is 21st in rebounding with 44 caroms a night while the team stands 28th with 20.4 assists per contest. The Cavaliers are below average defensively, ranking 18th in scoring defense by allowing 112.8 points per game. Kevin Love is second on the team with 16.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest this year. Collin Sexton (team-high 18.1 points), Tristan Thompson (13.9 points, 10.6 rebounds) and Jordan Clarkson (14 points) are scoring in double figures on the year. Larry Nance Jr. (10.8 points, 7.4 rebounds), Cedi Osman, Darius Garland (10.8 points) and Kevin Porter Jr. are key pieces of the rotation for the Cavaliers. Cleveland is 26th in the league by shooting 43.6 percent from the field. The Cavaliers are 19th in the league in made threes with 10.9 triples a night while ranking 25th in three-point shooting by shooting 34.2 percent from downtown.
The top trends for this contest according to Covers.com:
- Magic are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
- Magic are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous game
- Cavaliers are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
- Cavaliers are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up loss
- Cavaliers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall