12/06 20:32 CST Magic win fourth straight, 93-87 over slumping Cavaliers
Magic win fourth straight, 93-87 over slumping Cavaliers
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) --- Terrence Ross scored 21 points, Evan Fournier added 18 and
Aaron Gordon had a big dunk in the final 20 seconds to lead the Orlando Magic
to their fourth straight win, 93-87 Friday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers,
who have dropped four in a row and 11 of 12.
Orlando, which opened the season 2-6, moved to .500 for the first time.
Collin Sexton scored 19 points and Cedi Osman 14 for Cleveland, which pulled
within 90-87 on rookie Darius Garland's jumper with 42.5 seconds left.
The Cavs needed a defensive stop on Orlando's next trip, but instead they gave
up a dunk on a baseline out of bounds play with just three seconds left on the
24-second shot clock to Gordon, who managed to get free in the lane and scored
over Tristan Thompson.
On Cleveland's next possession, Larry Nance Jr. threw away the ball trying to
hit Sexton on the opposite wing, ending the Cavs' last chance at a comeback.
Cleveland was without star forward Kevin Love, who has been battling a flu bug
the past few days and stayed home to rest. The Cavs are hoping Love will be
available Saturday in Philadelphia. Love recently missed three games with a
Down by 11 in the second quarter and five at halftime, the Cavs opened the
third quarter with a 13-4 run fueled by 3-pointers from Sexton and Osman.
Cleveland played solid defense throughout and held the Magic to 16 points while
taking a 70-68 lead into the final 12 minutes.
Before the game, first-year Cavs coach John Beilein addressed a report that
players have complained about his coaching style. The Athletic, quoting
anonymous Cleveland players, said Beilein's methods are not working and they've
begun tuning him out.
The former Michigan coach believes he has his player's attention and said they
have been receptive.
"We've met with and it's like, ?Coach, keep doing what you're doing because we
really need this. We need accountability, we need to play harder, stronger,
tougher. Don't stop what you're doing,'" he said. "We were the worst defensive
team in the NBA last year. What do we do, practice less?"
"I have a lot of confidence the guys in the locker room are on board, and
they've told me that."
Magic coach Steve Clifford offered his unsolicited support of Beilein.
"I've known coach Beilein longer than anybody," he said. "He's a phenomenal
coach and he's won at every level. This league is a tough league. All I know is
he'll find a way to win. It's not easy to do and there is very little growth at
any level in any team sport without any conflict.
"When a guy says something behind the scenes and they won't own it, as a coach,
it gets very frustrating."
Magic: Gordon sat out Orlando's win over Cleveland on Nov. 27 with an ankle
injury. ... Center Nikola Vucevic missed his eighth straight game with a
sprained right ankle. ... Orlando's 17-game improvement was the NBA's largest
Cavaliers: Nance, who had 11 rebounds, was disappointed teammates commented
about Beilein behind his back. "Ideally you want to keep that in house if there
was those issues," he said. "I guess that's today's NBA. ... I've never had an
issue with a coach in my career, him being no different. I wanted to play for
him at Michigan. I'm enjoying it." ... Rookie G/F Dylan Windler scored eight
points in his debut for the Canton Charge as he works his way back from a leg
stress reaction. ... As part of their 50th anniversary celebration, the Cavs
honored players from 1970-83, including Butch Lee, Elmore Smith, Jim Brewer,
Jim Chones, Campy Russell and Austin Carr. ... Cleveland went 1-5 on a six-game
Magic: Visit Milwaukee on Monday. The teams combined for 84 3-point attempts in
a 123-91 Bucks win on Nov. 1.
Cavaliers: Visit the 76ers on Saturday. Philly can sweep the three-game season
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