This was a strange game from the start with no real flow or pace. The Cavs fell behind early and spent the rest of the night scrambling to catch up. The Magic were simply the more talented team and really just toyed with the Cavs most of the night.
That said, I thought Tristan Thompson did well to hold his own against Dwight Howard, who had his usual 16 points and 13 rebounds. But it could've been worse and often is against the Cavs.
Howard now has 267 rebounds against the Cavs since the start of the 2005-06 season. Kevin Garnett is next on that list with 152, proving how badly Howard has smashed the Cavs throughout his career. Thompson made him work for it while collecting 15 points and 11 rebounds for himself.
I was most impressed with Thompson's performance at the free-throw line. He was 5 of 5 tonight, which is fairly incredible. Again, I go back to Wednesday night when he threw the stat sheed down in disgust because he missed 3 of 6 foul shots and the Cavs lost by one point. The fact he missed those free throws genuinely upset him and he responded tonight.
This is still a team that can't score when Kyrie Irving and Antawn Jamison are both off the floor. That's likely to continue over the final month of the season. The bigger problem is what happens next season after Jamison leaves town as a free agent. Who will pick up the scoring load then?
Cavs -- Antawn Jamison 16 points, 9 rebounds, Tristan Thompson 15 points, 11 rebounds, Kyrie Irving 13 points, 6 assists; Magic -- Dwight Howard 16 points, 13 rebounds, Ryan Anderson 17 points, 8 rebounds
The Cavs trailed for the game's final 45 minutes.
The Cavs scored one basket over the first four minutes of the fourth quarter. As a result, they couldn't get within nine during the quarter.
“As I told them, this isn’t Wall Street. It’s not the stock market. You can’t have the lulls we have. We started off not playing real hard, then we started playing real hard, then we went down again, then we started... We just can’t do that. We’re not good enough to afford ourselves that luxury, especially against a good team like Orlando.” -- Byron Scott
The Cavs (17-28) host the Phoenix Suns (24-24) at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Q.
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