Coaches will often say there are no moral victories, but the Orlando Magic’s could at least feel good about their effort in the 116-104 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night at the Amway Center. Unlike Friday’s 40-point blowout to the Charlotte Hornets, Orlando was within striking distance until late in the fourth quarter.
“We had a much better competitive spirit about us tonight than we did (Friday) night,” said Magic Coach Frank Vogel. “I’m disappointed we fell short because I felt our guys deserved a victory. We gave it everything we had, but just fell short.”
The Magic’s Achilles heel again was their poor shooting. They hit on only 39 percent of their shots, including only 19 percent from three-point range.
Cleveland connected on 50 percent of their attempts and made 15 three-pointers.
LeBron James had a solid triple-double with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists.
“You’ve got the best player in the world and the best passer in the world able to attack and pick his targets and he’s got three-point shooters surrounding him all night and it’s a difficult challenge,” said Vogel. “That is why they are one of the best offenses in the league.”
Kyrie Erving added 22 for Cleveland.
Speaking of Achilles, Nikola Vucevic returned to the Magic lineup after missing four games with a sore right Achilles. He led the Magic with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier had 16 and 15 points, respectively.
The Magic (24-43) now head out on the road for a three game swing through the Western Conference. Monday night they will be in Sacramento to face the Kings.