Grades: Cleveland Cavaliers 110, Orlando Magic 105 | Magic Basketball

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Oct 12

Grades: Cleveland Cavaliers 110, Orlando Magic 105

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 1.51.33 PM

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

 

Cleveland Cavaliers 110 Final
Recap | Box Score
105 Orlando Magic

Nikola Vucevic
7-14 FG | 1-3 FT | 1 BLK | 6 REB | 15 PTS | -1

Vucevic shot 7-for-8 at the rim and 0-for-6 everywhere else on the floor. That was his game in a nutshell. He had a couple of dunks and made a few lefty hooks. He even had one of his patented offensive rebound putbacks. But whenever Vucevic tried to face up, his usually reliable midrange jump shot betrayed him every time.

Victor Oladipo
7-13 FG | 2-7 3P | 8 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | -11

With the first quarter coming to a close, Oladipo made a spot-up 3-pointer from the left wing, threw down a putback dunk, and then nailed another 3-point shot — this time from the right wing — off the dribble in the span of roughly 90 seconds. All while playing point guard. Oladipo had other drool-worthy moments of brilliance at the point, but that sequence was particularly fun to watch.

Arron Afflalo
5-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | +6

Afflalo has made it a mission to get back to being the efficient player he was in Denver. Against the Cavs, Afflalo accomplished that task, but he did it in the least optimal way possible. Four of his five made field goals were midrange jump shots, with all of them being difficult fadeaways. It wasn’t the most effective way of being efficient, but it worked this time.

Maurice Harkless
2-6 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -10

Much has been written about Harkless reconstructing his jumper during the offseason, given his offensive struggles last season. Well, Magic fans will need to be patient with Harkless, because he had some ugly misses tonight. But his defense is getting there. The one defensive play that stood out the most came in the first quarter when Harkless flashed his athleticism and length to block an Earl Clark right corner 3.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Defense and Anthony Bennett. That’s what won the Cavaliers this game. After the Magic completely picked apart Cleveland’s D in the first half, the Cavaliers ramped up their defensive efforts after halftime and stymied Orlando’s offense. And then in the fourth quarter, Bennett — the top pick in the 2013 NBA Draft — went nova, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the period to lead the comeback charge.

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