Game 32: Magic at Cavs
Quicken Loans Arena
Players have come close, but they could never quite reach that total, until Thursday when Anderson Varejao absolutely cleaned the boards en route to 25 rebounds.
This guy works so hard. He does much of the dirty work.
He was the star of the game.
The Cavs somehow sent the game into OT. They were down by 10 with about a minute to play. Down eight with 50 seconds left. It's unbelievable, but they somehow tied the score at 79 at tne end of the fourth quarter.
Once they got into OT, they were too much for the Magic.
It's funny, but before the game, Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said while watching the Cavs on video, Varejao kept jumping out with one of his hustle plays. He loved how he rebounds the ball. With Nikola Vucevic out of the way on Thursday, Varejao had free reign on the boards.
He didn't shoot the ball very well - at least early on. He finished 8 of 17 from the field for 18 points. He saved the Cavs tonight.
Both teams came into tonight's game with identical 10-21 records. Another loss by the Cavs would have been devastating.
They had lost six in a row, as well as eight of the last nine. They needed this win in the worst way. They could steal another one in Brooklyn on Saturday, but I'm sure you're well aware of how they play on the road.
They are still in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, but only because it's in such shambles.
The Magic are playing for a future high draft pick to aid their development. They have some nice, young talent on the roster, including first-round pick Victor Oladipo. He's been coming off the bench for Vaughn.
The Cavs have won five in a row over the Magic by an average margin of 12 points. They knocked off the Magic on the road on Dec. 13, 109-100, as the Cavs' bench erupted for 60 points.
The Cavs are averaging 108 points in their previous seven games at The Q. Their problem hasn't been scoring points. It's been preventing their opponents from scoring at will. Also, they haven't been nearly as strong rebounding the ball as many people thought they'd be.
UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Barclays Center.
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Jason Maxiell (6-7, 260)
Magic - F Hedo Turkoglu, C Nikola Vucevic