The Orlando Magic completed the second game of a back to back last night. Without the services of Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon, the Magic still defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-93.
From the very start of the game, the Orlando Magic were determined to win. Orlando quickly got out to a 15 point lead and as a result, never trailed in the game. The Magic made a team record 8 three-point shots in the first quarter alone, surpassing Cleveland’s total for the game(7).In total, Orlando made 17 shots from deep. They led by as much as 37 at one point. The Cavaliers were able to cut the lead down to 7 early in the third quarter but could get no closer. Consequently, the Orlando Magic came out with the unexpected win.
The Orlando Magic got the ball moving early in the game. In addition to moving the ball, shots were falling. In the first quarter alone the Magic tallied an assist on 13 baskets. The Magic finished with a total of 28 assists on the night. A total of 6 Magic players scored in double figures. Orlando made a conscious effort to take good shots. Everyone on the team made the extra pass to keep the defense chasing and ended with an open shot. Hence, the unselfish play kept the defense on its heels not having one person to key on.
Both Orlando and Cleveland were playing the second night of a back to back. Getting out to a big lead early allowed coach Vogel to distribute minutes evenly throughout the roster. All available 13 players got time on the court and each of them scored. The leader in minutes for the Magic was Nikola Vucevic who logged 28 minutes in the game. The Magic bench contributed more than half of the points for the night.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) October 22, 2017
The Magic were without Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon tonight. What would seem to be terrible absences from the outset were not sorely missed. Payton and Gordon are key contributors for Orlando. Playing any game without either of them is a huge blow to the team. Missing both players is almost an assured loss, especially versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. DJ Augustin and Jonathan Isaac were tasked with replacing the two starters.
Just looking at the final score you can tell they faired well. Augustin recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists in only 27 minutes. Jonathan Isaac contributed 5 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 steal in 21 minutes. Isaac also got a shot at defending Lebron James a good portion of the night. Like most opponents, Isaac had some rough times defending James. Furthermore, he also had some series where his length disrupted the play. The depth that this roster has been constructed with will help Orlando all season.
The Orlando Magic next game is Tuesday at home versus the Brooklyn Nets.