Game 12: Cavs at Magic
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs were outscored, 63-53, in the second half by the host Magic. It was a nip-and-tuck game the entire way.
J.J. Redick was 8 of 8 from the foul line in the closing minute to hold off the Cavs.
It only gets tougher - much tougher - for the Cavs on the three-game, four-day trip. They take on defending NBA champion Miami on Saturday and then surging Memphis on Monday. The schedule-maker could care less about the Cavs' well-being. They return home on Tuesday to host Phoenix. What a joke.
Back to Friday's game. They've now lost 10 in a row to the Magic, the last six on the road. It's been more than three years since the Cavs have won in Orlando - on Nov. 11, 2009.
The Cavs got good performances from several of their players, starting with shooting guard Dion Waiters, who had a game-high 25 points and five assists. He was 9 of 22 from the field, 4 of 11 from the 3-point arc.
Jeremy Pargo, coming off his 28-point effort on Wednesday, shot the ball well for the second game in a row with 15 points.. However, he managed just one assist.
Pargo also couldn't stop Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, who finished with a season-high 22 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Cavs center Anderson Varejao was fabulous once again with 19 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. He pulled down 11 offensive rebounds, one off his team record.
Backup center Tyler Zeller was very good off the bench with 13 points and nine rebounds. He was only 5 of 8 from the foul line. He came into the game shooting 48 percent from the foul line, which is ridiculous. He shot like 78 percent during his four-year career at North Carolina.
Swingman C.J. Miles, fresh off his 13-point effort vs. Philadelphia on Wednesday, came into the game, launched an off-balance 3-pointer and came out after three minutes. Apparently, he doesn't listen to his coach. Coach Byron Scott has been clearly tired of Miles' shooting terrible shots not in the flow of the offense. He rarely drives to the basket or takes any mid-range shots. It's 3-pointers or bust.
Maybe he's thick-headed, I don't know. Scott simply went to Omri Casspi, who responded with a season-high 11 points.
If Miles wants to play like that, he'll find himself permanently on the bench.
The Magic are starting all over after trading Dwight Howard. They have a new coach in Jacque Vaughn, a new GM in Rob Hennigan and nine new players. They aren't very good, but they were better than the Cavs on Friday.
Their go-to guy is power forward Glen "Don't Call Me Big Baby" Davis, who had 16 points and eight rebounds. The Cavs list power forward Tristan Thompson at 227 pounds. If that's accurate, then Davis has a 62-pound advantage.
Thompson played 28 minutes on Friday and didn't do much of anything.
Cavs guard Daniel Gibson returned after a two-game absence with a sore right elbow. He looked like he hasn't played in three games, too, with three points. He did dish out six assists, which tied Nelson and Redick for game honors.
UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Miami at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Maurice Harkless (6-8, 210)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Glen Davis (6-9, 289)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Nikola Vucevic (7-0, 240)
SG Dion Waiters (6-4, 221) vs. Arron Afflalo (6-5, 215)
PG Jeremy Pargo (6-2, 219) vs. Jameer Nelson (6-0, 190)
Cavs – F Luke Harangody, G Kyrie Irving
Magic - F Al Harrington, F Hedo Turkoglu
Scott Foster, Brian Forte, Violet Palmer