Byron Scott may have cost himself $25,000 tonight, but he doesn't sound too concerned over it.
"My checkbook is OK," Scott said, before letting loose a tirade rarely heard from coaches these days for fear of fines from the league office.
Among the highlights:
* "Our guys never gave up, but it's hard when you're playing against eight people. Makes it a lot tougher."
* "There's five white jerseys and three with stripes. It's hard to play against all of them out there."
* "When you ask them a question about certain calls, it was 'I really don't know.' Get another job. I just don't understand it. I think our guys fought, played hard and I know there's going to be some bad calls. I understand that's part of the game. They're human. But not for 48 minutes, that's all I'm saying."
And there you have it. Scott has proven to be a coach not afraid to tell you what he's thinking, and he did it again tonight. The Cavs certainly didn't get a couple calls that could've gone their way -- Mo Williams was clobbered on a drive and Daniel Gibson was hit on a 3-point attempt in the fourth quarter -- but the officiating didn't seem as egregious as Scott made it out to be.
The Cavs were never in this game, but they were never out of it, either. They fell behind by 10 after the first quarter and were outscored by the Magic by just a point the rest of the way. But Orlando never really seemed threatened, and the one time the Cavs trimmed the deficit to nine in the fourth, the Magic answered with a basket from Marcin Gortat and a 3-pointer from Chris Duhon. Within a minute, the lead was back at 14.
The Cavs' real problems were with their perimeter defense and another slow start. They cannot continue giving up 62 points or more in a first half and expect to win games. So far, it's happened in four of their last five games. Not surprisingly, they're 0-4 when it happens.
File this away under the "closely monitoring" file: Daniel Gibson hasn't hit a 3-pointer since injuring his left shoulder Wednesday against the Bucks. He went 0 for 3 on 3s tonight and admitted it's going to take about a week for the shoulder to settle down a little bit. In the meantime, he'll play the decoy.
"Be more of a threat actually than take as many as I normally do," Gibson said. "The threat of it still makes the defense play honest and gives other guys shots as well."
Gibson had just four points on 2 of 8 shooting. The Cavs can't win right now without getting more out of him.
Antawn Jamison 22 points (season high), 7 rebounds
Mo Williams 20 points, 8 assists
Ramon Sessions 13 points, 6 assists
J.J. Hickson 7 points, 1 rebound
Daniel Gibson 4 points, 2 of 8 shooting (0 of 3 3-pointers)
Dwight Howard 23 points, 11 rebounds (13 of 24 FTs)
Jameer Nelson 20 points, 6 assists
Quentin Richardson 14 points (4 of 5 3s)
JJ Redick 15 points, 5 assists (3 of 6 3s)
The Magic hit a barrage of 3-pointers in the second quarter, attempting five straight during one stretch. Four of them went in. Chris Duhon ended the streak with a 3 with 7:29 left in the half, extending the lead to 46-31. The Cavs never really threatened again.
He said it
See above. Pick your favorite Byron Scott moment from tonight.
The Magic shot 14 of 31 on 3-pointers, falling one shy of equaling their season high on 3s.
* The Cavs actually outrebounded Howard and the Magic, 39-33.
* Chris Duhon's nine assists for the Magic tied his season high.
* The Cavs trailed after the first quarter 32-22. After that, Orlando only outscored them by one point.
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