Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Game review: Cavaliers (43-11) 115, Magic (36-18) 106

Led by LeBron James' 32 points, 13 assists and 8 rebounds, Cleveland went on an 18-2 run during a 6 minute stretch late in the fourth quarter to break open what had been a close game. James had plenty of help from his supporting cast, as forwards J.J. Hickson and Anderson Varejao combined to score 36 points. Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis each scored 19 points to lead the Magic; but, Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter each struggled offensively.

The Magic started off well, leading 12-7. The Cavaliers then went on a 19-2 run to go ahead 26-14, and led 37-23 after a quarter. The Magic gradually ate away at the Cavs' lead in the second quarter, coming as close as 64-63 late in the quarter before the Cavaliers scored the last bucket of the half to make it 66-63 Cleveland at halftime. The Magic started the third quarter very well, outscoring the Cavaliers 16-6 for their largest lead of the game at 79-72. The Cavaliers then went on a 15-4 run to lead 87-83 going into the fourth. Trailing 90-83, the Magic went on a 15-4 run to reclaim the lead at 96-94 with 7:11 remaining. The Magic went ice cold for the next 6 minutes, missing 8 shots in row as the Cavaliers surged on a 18-2 run to put the game away as they led 112-98 with 1:11 remaining.

Magic leading scorers

Dwight Howard: 19 points (6 of 9 FGs, 7 of 10 FTs), 11 rebounds, 2 blocks
Rashard Lewis: 19 points (6 of 14 FGs, 3 of 9 3 PT FGs)
Vince Carter: 14 points (5 of 16 FGs, 0 for 2 3 PT FGs)
Jameer Nelson: 13 points (4 of 14 FGs, 1 of 5 3 PT FGs), 5 assists, 4 turnovers
Jason Williams (bench): 10 points (4 of 4 FGs)

Overall Game Statistics

FG%: CLE 52.4% (44 of 84) ORL 48.0% (36 of 75)
3 PT FG%: CLE 45% (9 of 20) ORL 38.5% (10 of 26)
FT%: ORL 77.4% (24 of 31) CLE 72% (18 of 25)
REB: CLE 40 (11 offensive) ORL 36 (8 offensive)
AST/TO: CLE 28/7 ORL 18/13

Other game notes and stats:

-In addition to James, 4 other Cavaliers scored in double figures; J.J. Hickson added 20 points on 9 of 14 shooting and Anderson Varejao added 16 points on 8 of 11 shooting as the two combined to shoot 17 of 25
-Former Magic center Shaquille O'Neal scored 10 points with 6 rebounds
-Delonte West returned for the Cavaliers after missing several weeks with a broken finger and scored 8 points with 6 assists
-Guard Anthony Parker had 3 steals to lead the Cavaliers
-James, Daniel Gibson, and West combined for 24 assists and just 3 turnovers
-Nelson and Carter combined to shoot 9 of 30 for the Magic, including 1 of 7 on three pointers along with 7 turnovers
-The Magic starting frontcourt was outscored by the Cavaliers' starting frontcourt 62-47
-Jason Williams and J.J. Redick combined to score 18 points off the Magic bench on 7 of 7 shooting
-Howard and O'Neal each finished with 5 personal fouls, with Howard playing 31 minutes and O'Neal 19 minutes
-Howard did not attempt a shot in the final 7 1/2 minutes of the game
-The Cavaliers solidified their hold on the number one seed in the East, as they now lead the Magic by 7 games

Here is the complete recap and box score from nba.com.


  • At 3:50 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Let me say the Cavaliers deserved to win the game, and they were the better team Thursday night. LeBron James had his usual outstanding statistical game, but he got plenty of help from his supporting cast; Hickson, Varejao, Gibson, and West each played a heck of a game.

    That being said, despite the fact that Dwight Howard was in foul trouble the whole game and despite the fact Nelson, Carter, and Lewis each struggled with their shooting, particularly Nelson and Carter, and despite the fact this was the Magic's 4th game in 5 days, the Magic still led this game 96-94 with just over 7 minutes remaining before the Cavaliers went on that big run to put the game away.

    I'm happy with the effort the Magic put forth; the results just weren't there.

    The Magic have still won 10 of their last 13 games with their key players getting healthy and playing better together.

    I won't be too critical of Jameer and Vince, as they both had been playing much better lately before their mediocre performance Thursday night. I believe they both are still on the right track.

    I wonder why Coach Van Gundy didn't play Jason Williams more in the second half. Nelson was struggling, while J-Will was sensational in the first half, scoring all 10 of his points.

    J.J. Redick should have seen more playing time I thought, but didn't.

    I will admit the Cavaliers' depth is much better than last season, but I still don't think it's better than the Magic overall depth.

    One game does not make a statement.

  • At 3:54 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    To Cleveland fans:

    If you can discuss the game on a reasonably intelligent level without any personal attacks, offensive statements, or trolling, you're more than welcome to leave a comment; if not, your comment will be deleted.

  • At 7:41 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    This game could have easily gone the other way in the last five minutes, but Magic looked tired at the end, and that was CLE's shots were falling and ours was not. Why not be critical of Jameer who was awful; I counted at least 3 uncontested lay-ups that he missed and that miserable pass to an open MP for a dunk. Vince is a different story; he still does not have the foot speed for turning the corner or the lift for finishing at the rim.

    We still haven't seen Magic playing CAVs at a non-back-to-back, and not at the end of a long draining stretch. As long as the Magic stays in second seed, we will see CLE in the East finals again. But before then there will be another meeting in 10 days not on a back-to-back, and this time in Orlando.

  • At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Hank said…

    One game does not makea statement?? Ok then what does 2 games say about the matchup between two teams. because the cavs have won big in both games? please explain.
    Also was interesting to see Stan Van's approach to guarding shaq, leaving hickson/andy wide open. worked well at first i will admit-but as the game wore on the magic defense would lose track of these two, hence the strong offensive numbers for both of them.

  • At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Jay said…

    shaq, also in foul trouble, did have the upper hand in the fourth quarter, holding Dwight scoreless in the 7 1/2 mintue stretch. that was big. howard on Z is a horrid mismatch for the cavs, howard just goes right through him and scores at will. with shaq this year the cavs dont have to double team him this year, which bodes well for the cavaliers----which is why they have done well in the two meetings so far.

    I will take this win with a grain of salt though, the magic did look tired in the fourth quarter after their brutal last 7 days...looking forward to game in orlando coming up as both teams will be properly rested and no team will be a disadvantage...Lewis is still a matchup nightmare for us though. agreed there is no one we can trade for that will hang with him


  • At 11:16 AM, Blogger Lenny k said…

    This was a great victory by the cavs. Howard did not impress me at all. he had 19 points last night? isn't he supposed to be the best post player in the game? dont understand that. Another thing, if Howard is the reigning defensive player of the year than why does he need a double team for shaq everytime down the court? lol..i couldnt believe they did this.

    Cleveland is the more balanced team this year. orlando had 67% of their offense come from outside the paint, and 33% inside paint. Cleveland had 55% outside and 45% inside. This starts and ends with Shaq, bottomline. He is the difference in these two teams this year.

  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger Lenny k said…

    Also just wanted to give you Shaq's take on Dwight getting help on him.

    (On the matchup with Dwight Howard):
    "I don't really consider it manning up unless you play me straight up. When I was coming up it was Patrick Ewing and Hakeem. I never doubled anybody. You tell me who the real Superman is. Don't let them double team me and try and make it a him versus me thing. Eighteen years straight: Hakeem, Ewing, Rik Smits, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, straight up. I never doubled anybody, nor have I ever asked for a double team."

    Haha...that is a great quote, kind of sums up the Shaq-Howard superman rivalry.

  • At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hmm...awfully quiet from the magic fans. i thought you were 'going to win this one'? haha

  • At 1:52 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    SVG just stunk up the building with that defensive approach,why and the world were we giving shaq's big ass so much attention? I mean dwight fronting and rashard behind on every play,basically giving hickson and andy wide open shots. Dwight has played shaq straight up many times,and even last year made shaq himself flop so i cant for the life of me understand what the hell SVG was thinking last night. Even with jameer and VC not shooting so well,we probably hold a lead at the half if we would have just played everybody straight up the entire game. SVG had a serious brainfart! Last nights game only proved to me that the magic beat themselves,and the cavs if properly defended will have trouble scoring the ball. Shaq doesnt need a double and if you stay at home on hickson and andy you take them out of the game which limits the cavs scoring production.

  • At 1:56 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    During the third quarter it was cleveland searching for answers lets not forget that. I give them credit for outlasting a tired magic ball-club who can play alot better.

  • At 2:32 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Kudos to you Cleveland fans coming on here and discussing the game on a reasonably intelligent level.

    I think Stan Van Gundy had Shaq double-teamed because he wanted to keep Dwight Howard out of early foul trouble; this strategy did not work as Howard still had foul problems, and as one of you guys mentioned, Hickson and Varejao really burned the Magic. SVG will have to rethink this strategy the next time the two teams play.

    Yes, the Cavaliers have won both games they have played the Magic this year, and they truly deserved to win both games; however, the fact is in both games the Magic were playing their 4th game in 5 nights, while the Cavs were rested. The Cavs certainly took advantage of that, and looked like the fresher team both times.

    NBA championships aren't won during the regular season. In the playoffs, there are no back-to-backs, and the better team emerges after a 7 game series, as the Magic proved last season against the Cavaliers.

    I will admit the Cavaliers are more deeper than they were last year, and the fact that so many Cavs' players had very good games last night, in addition to LBJ's usual outstanding game, really went a long way in helping them to the win. Mo Williams, when he comes back, will make the Cavs that much better.

    Only Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis had what you would call a good game for the Magic, but Howard had foul problems and Lewis kind of struggled with his shooting. Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter really struggled, and that hurt the Magic. The bench played fairly well, particularly J.J. Redick and Jason Williams, but SVG did not utilize them enough minutes.

    I'm pretty sure you'll see a much more effective Nelson and Carter the next time these two teams play, as the Magic won't be coming off a 4 games in 5 days stretch; even one of you guys admitted that the Magic looked tired in the 4th quarter.

    Cleveland pretty much has sewn up the best record in the East, and possibly even the whole NBA, but the playoffs are an entirely new season.

    Yes, the Cavaliers have improved themselves since last season, and O'Neal seems to have acclimated himself pretty good on the team. He's playing better as the season goes on.

    I believe the Magic have improved themselves also since last season. After a rough January stretch, the Magic have been playing much better as the team chemistry gets better and the nagging injuries to various players heals.

    The playoffs are still a long ways off, and anything can happen, but the Magic and Cavaliers are on track to face each other in the Eastern Conference Finals in what should be one heck of a playoff series should they meet.

    I don't want to get too far ahead of myself though; we'll see what happens a week from Sunday when the Cavs play in Orlando.

  • At 3:50 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Also, the Magic did not get the ball to D12 the last 7 1/2 minutes of the game; he did not attempt a shot or a free throw during this span. I know he was in foul trouble, and he's not a good FT shooter, but he shot 70% on his FTs last night. They just can't forget about him like that in the fourth quarter; whenever they do, it's highly likely the Magic will lose because they just rely on shots from the perimeter with no inside game.

    The Magic went over 6 minutes in the fourth quarter without a field goal, and were 0 for 8 shooting during this span without D12 taking a shot.


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