Cavs 115, Magic 106
In a nutshell:
Mike Brown praised an offensive effort when there wasn't a lot of defense. That's special in itself, but the Cavs won this by getting stops when needed because not a lot of them were forthcoming prior to the fourth quarter.
Shaquille O'Neal was huge in that endeavor shutting Dwight Howard down for more than half of the fourth.
But that wasn't the best part about this game, the best came afterward as Shaq laid into Dwight Howard and not with much subtlety:
I don't really consider it manning up until you play me straight up. When I was coming up against Pat Ewing and Akeem, I never doubled anybody. You tell me who the real Superman is. I would have liked to have stayed in the game a little more. But don't compare me to nobody, I'd rather not be mentioned, I'm offended, that's a Jay-Z quote.
Cavs (43-11) vs. Orlando Magic (36-18)
TV: TNT Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Cavs: LeBron James (F); J.J. Hickson(F); Shaquille O'Neal (C); Anthony Parker (G); Daniel Gibson (G). Magic: Matt Barnes (F); Rashard Lewis (F); Dwight Howard (C); Vince Carter (G); Jameer Nelson (G).
Cavs: Leon Powe (left knee surgery); Mo Williams (left shoulder sprain) - OUT. Delonte West (left ring finger) - QUESTIONABLE.
Eddie Rush, Mike Callahan and Eddie Lewis.
There are really two keys to tonight's.
First up is the Cavs defense which has been lacking lately. They've given up better than 50 percent shooting to two horrible New York area teams. And it wasn't just a case of those teams hitting contested shots. Coach Mike Brown said that in those games there were more than a few times when the defensive effort was lacking. Against Orlando, they cannot afford that. The team can talk all they want about this just being another game, but the truth of the matter is the next few contests against the Magic sets the tone for playoffs.
Secondly Shaquille O'Neal must perform the way he did in the first game. I'm not talking about offensively necessarily, but what he did that proved so valuable for the rest of the game, is get Dwight Howard in foul trouble. He wasn't the same for the rest of that game in Orlando and he played tentatively and his team folloed his lead.