The last time Orlando defeated Cleveland during the regular season was Nov. 23, 2012.
Entering Saturday night’s contest at Quicken Loans Arena, the Orlando Magic were looking to become the first team in nearly five years to snap a 17-game losing streak to the Cavaliers, and they were able to do so in style.
A 36-point explosion in the first quarter along with a steady first half helped power Orlando to a 114—93 victory over the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, ending the 17-game skid. Orlando center Nikola Vucevic continued his hot shooting and led the Magic with 23 points on the night.
”This game had lots of positives, one of the most positives we’ve had in a long time,” Vucevic said about the milestone win. “I’m really happy for this team because we haven’t had success against them for a while.”
Not many teams have success against the Cavaliers, who fell for the first time this 2017-2018 campaign. Cleveland started off the season with impressive victories over the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, respectively.
Orlando was coming off a disappointing 126-121 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night and was hoping to bounce back against LeBron James and crew. Both teams played without their opening day starters at point guard, with Elfrid Payton out with a hamstring injury and for Cleveland, Derrick Rose was sidelined with an ankle injury.
The Magic opened up the game going on an 18-5 run before a couple of buckets by James (22 points) and Dwyane Wade helped slow down Orlando’s early hot shooting from outside. Frank Vogel’s bunch shot an impressive 17-of-35 from the 3-point line and out-rebounded the Cavaliers 50-44 on the boards.
Jonathan Simmons provided a spark off the bench, adding 19 points. Orlando never trailed at any point and will get a couple days of rest before facing the Nets at home on Tuesday night.