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Cavaliers fight hard, but fall 94-85 in Season Opener

The John Beilein era didn’t start off with a win, but it did start with promise. Wednesday night the Orlando Magic used a strong second quarter to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in each teams first game of the season.

Cleveland trailed by just four after the first quarter but allowed the Magic to jump out to a 20-point lead with less than three minutes left in the first half. Despite trailing 53-33 late in the half, the Cavs were able to cut into the Orlando lead heading into the half.

A pair of threes from Collin Sexton and Darius Garland had the Cavaliers trailing by 14 at the break.

The young Cavaliers back-court was good, but not great against the Magic on Wednesday night. Sexton scored 16 points on (5-15) shooting, while Garland added 8 points and dished out a team high five assists.

The Cavaleirs selected Garland with the fifth pick in June’s NBA draft and his first career bucket was a quick look into the type of potential the 19-year-old possess. As he knocked down a deep three pointer, showing off his deep range and smooth shooting stroke.

After the game the Cavs rookie spoke about getting his feet wet in his first career NBA game.

One of the biggest reasons Cleveland was able to hang around in this one was the big rebounding advantage (54-46) thanks to the Cavaliers big men.

The trio of Kevin Love, Tristian Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. combined for 43 rebounds highlighted by Love’s 18 boards. While Love lead the team in rebounds, Thompson tied Sexton with 16 points as the Cavaliers leading scorer. Thompson picked up where he finished off last season, as the Cavs veteran has become someone you can count on for a double-double.

Coach Beilein was pleased with the effort his guys played with throughout the game. The execution was not there for 48 minutes Wednesday night, but Beilein believes that will come.

Cleveland returns home Saturday night for their home opener as their Central division rivals the Indiana Pacers. Indiana lost 119-110 to the Detroit Pistons in their season opener.

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