A bad first quarter was the undoing of the Cavs on Thursday night, as they fell to the Orlando Magic on the road by a final of 120-91.
The Cavs were outscored 36-20 in the first, and 25-21 in the second as they trailed by 20 at the half, and by 30 at one point in the third quarter.
The formula was pretty simple for Orlando to improve to 31-38 on the season, hit a bunch of early shots from the field to build a lead, and then play solid defense the rest of the way to not allow the Cavs any shot to get back in the game.
Saturday will see the Cavs back in action in Dallas as they will take on the Mavericks at the American Airlines Center.
Here’s a couple takeaways from the setback which puts the Cavs at 17-51 on the year, 6-27 away from Quicken Loans Arena.
1. First Quarter Woes
The Cavs on a three from Brandon Knight actually had a 5-0 lead with 10:54 to play in the first quarter, but were outscored 36-15 over the final near 11 minutes of the first.
Orlando took an 8-7 lead on a Nikola Vucevic free throw, and never looked back.
Vucevic was all over the court, making shots as well as grabbing rebounds, and Evan Fournier hit a big three in the first that put Orlando up 21-11 with 5:45 to play in the first.
The Cavs went cold from the field while it seemed like the Magic couldn’t miss, which of course led to why the Cavs trailed by 16 at the end of one.
2. Inside the Box Score
The Magic were solid from the field all night, hitting on 48 percent of their shots (45-93) overall, and hit on 45 percent from beyond the three-point line (14-31).
Aaron Gordon was another big player for the Magic in the win, going for 21 points in just 29 minutes, helping the Magic continue to add to the lead throughout.
On the night the Cavs shot just 40 percent from the field (35-86), and just didn’t play with the same intensity as their win the other night over the Raptors.
Turnovers were another factor in the game, as the Cavs committed 15 turnovers in the setback, and at times were just sloppy with the ball.
If the Cavs are gonna finish the last couple of weeks playing well, they have to be more consistent.
3. Sexton a Bright Spot
The Cavs rookie ended the night with 23 points, shooting 7-of-16 from the field and making 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the loss.
The rookie in his last four games has scored 27, 28, 26 and 23, and in those four games has shot 39-of-71 from the field, good for 54 percent.
Many that were slamming him early in the season are now seeing a player that is staring to grow up, and with it he’s playing much better basketball over the last month than in the first several months of the season.