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The Magic Take On A Hot Cleveland

  • On the second night of a back-to-back the Magic take on a hot Cleveland Cavaliers, currently on a league best 7 game winning streak.

Regular Season Game 44 – Cleveland Cavaliers vs Orlando Magic 

  • Venue – Kia Center, Orlando, Florida 
  • U.K. tip time is midnight, which is 7pm in Orlando.
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will again need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

  • Regular Season Record: 23-20
  • Run: Won 1 and are 4-6 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 14-6 (14-5 in the Kia Center; one “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 9-14
  • Standing: 8th in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 111.7 Against 110.8
  • RatingOffensive 24th Defensive 4th
  • Looking at back-to-back games this season, the Magic fairing very similarly to last season so far.
    • This Season – First Night 4-5 : Second Night 2-6
    • Last Season – First Night 6-7 : Second Night 1-12

Last Time Out – vs The Miami Heat 

  • It was a long overdue welcome back to “the real Orlando Magic basketball”. Swarming, intense and energetic defence. The offence built on ball movement, unselfishness, attacking the paint and taking the second chances. 
  • It led to a comprehensive victory over the Miami Heat by 87-105. 
  • Coming into the game the Heat had been scoring 111.4 ppg, so to hold them almost 25 points below that shows how good the Magic D was all game. 87 points is a season low for Miami and the second lowest total Orlando have conceded this campaign. 
  • The Magic outscored the Heat in the paint 54-36 and 23-10 on second chance points. Both those figures that the Heat conceded were well above their season average.
  • Franz Wagner returned, immediately going into the starting unit that also featured Markelle Fultz and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • The last time the Magic had this starting lineup was game day 4 of the season, against the Los Angeles Clippers.
  • All five starters scored in double figures. Paolo Banchero led the way with 20 points. Franz Wagner finished with 19 points (6-of-13 shooting) being followed by Wendell Carter Jr with 17 points, Markelle Fultz had 12 and Jalen Suggs recorded 11.
  • The starting unit was again Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • From the bench came Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles, Anthony Black, Moritz Wagner and Caleb Houstan. In the final three minutes Trevelin Queen, Jett Howard and Chuma Okeke also made appearances.
  • Goga Bitadze did not play but was available.
  • Admiral Schofield and Kevon Harris were available but did not dress.


  • Tonight through load management both Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac are out.
  • Last night only Gary Harris (calf) remains listed as out also, the 10th consecutive game.
  • Jett Howard is out being back on G-League assignment.
  • Two-way player Kevon Harris is out.
  • Coach Mosley has to change his starting group from the Miami game. Whilst that unit is his preferred option, unfortunately through load management it doesn’t get the opportunity to shine tonight.

The Cleveland Cavaliers 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 25-15 Run: Won 7 and are at 8-2 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 4th in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 113.7 Against 110
  • RatingOffensive 18th Defensive 3rd
  • On the road the Cleveland have a 10-7 record.
  • Despite key injuries the Cavs are playing some excellent basketball. Defensively they are immaculate, restricting opponents shooting from all areas. They are tied 6th for least opponent points in the paint. Defensive rebounding is another strength, seeing them hold second chance points to a similar level as the Magic do. They do force opponents into turnovers.
  • The Cavs have still not hit their offensive stride consistently. That being said they have scored in excess of 110 in 9 of the last 10 played, including putting 140 on the Wizards and 135 on the Bucks.
  • As was seen in our first meeting of the season Cleveland can be lethal from range
  • The Cavs do well scoring in many of the same categories as the Magic such as on the fast break, from opponent turnovers and in the paint. 
  • Donovan Mitchell is the team leader in scoring with an improving 27.8 points per game. He also contributes heavily on steals and assists. With two of their four top scorers being out he is doing much of the heavy lifting on the offensive end. 

Last Time Out For The Cavs

  • Their last outing was a 116-95 road win in Atlanta, over the Hawks.
  • Seven players, including all five starters scored in double-digits. Donovan Mitchell led the team with 18 points and  assists. He was joined on 18 points by Sam Merrill who came from the bench. Jarrett Allen produced a points and rebounds double-double.
  • Starting 5 – Donovan Mitchell, Max Strus, Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade, Jarrett Allen 
  • Georges Niang, Sam Merrill, Craig Porter Jr, Tristan Thompson, Damian Jones and Pete Nance played from the bench


  • Caris LeVert (right wrist sprain) is questionable after missing the last game.
  • Darius Garland (jaw fracture), Ty Jerome (right ankle sprain) and Evan Mobley (left knee surgery) are all out.
  • Two of their G League Two-Way, being Emoni Bates and Isaiah Mobley are also out. 
  • If LeVert is fit he will likely come from the bench, having started only 1 game this season. Expect Coach JB Bickerstaff to go with that same starting 5 as against Atlanta.

Head-To-Head With The Cavs

  • In 124 regular season games played the score stands at 64-60 to the Cavs.
  • There have been two of four meetings played between the two this season. 
  • The first on game day 21 saw Orlando fall to a 111-121 road loss after an opening quarter that saw the Cavs score 37 points. A 17 point deficit at the end of the first was extended in the second to 23. The Magic clawed it back to within 5 points mid way in the third. However, every time Orlando put a run together Cleveland were able to find a score to break the momentum. 
  • Shortly after on game day 23 a 94-104 home court victory for the Magic over the Cleveland Cavaliers came in a hard fought fixture. The second half display was Magic basketball at its best. The intense defence led to the offence clicking. It was arguably one of the best wins of the season.
  • Last season was a 0-4 sweep to the Cavaliers.
  • Orlando have only won 2 of the last 9 regular season encounters. Prior to that the Magic had won 7 straight.

As The Magic Take On A Hot Cleveland; A Final Thought

  • The same intensity and focus will be needed on both ends of the floor as that against Miami again as the Magic take on a hot Cleveland Cavaliers team. 
  • Holding Miami to a season low on points, whilst also forcing them into a season worst shooting percentage shows how good this Orlando team can be against strong opponents. 
  • If the Magic can apply that same level of physical strength tonight they could be looking at two highly valuable wins against teams they are in direct competition with. 

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview