NBA PREVIEWS |

Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview and Predictions 12-06-2019


The Orlando Magic look to continue an offensive surge, extend their winning streak to a season-high four games and return to .500 when they visit the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. The Magic (10-11) set a season-best with 127 points in a win at Washington on Tuesday and topped that 24 hours later with a 128-114 triumph at home against Phoenix as forward Aaron Gordon scored a season-high 32.

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Orlando, which has already beaten the Cavaliers twice this season and won five of the last six meetings, is 4-3 since losing All-Star center Nikola Vucevic to an ankle injury that is expected to keep him out a few more weeks. "We've had to kind of reinvent ourselves, find different looks and we're doing a really, really good job of moving the ball," Magic guard Evan Fournier, who is averaging 26.6 points the last five games, told reporters. "We just have a really good rhythm right now." Cleveland has dropped four in a row and 10 of its last 11 contests after giving Eastern Conference leader Milwaukee all it could handle in a loss last Friday before being routed by Detroit 127-94 at home Tuesday. "You got to keep pushing forward," 6-9 power forward John Henson told the Plain Dealer. "Stay positive, hold onto the rope and don't flinch as coach (John Beilein) says. We are going to keep trekking this path. We're not where we want to be, but the way the East is setting up ... a three or four-game win streak can put you right back in the mix."

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Florida (Orlando), FS Ohio (Cleveland)

ABOUT THE MAGIC (10-11): Fournier leads the team in scoring (19.8) and has shot at least 60 percent in each of the last three contests while Gordon (13.8) is starting to warm up after a cold start with 50 points in the past two games. Forward Jonathan Isaac leads the active players in rebounds per game (7.3) and second-year center Mo Bamba registered his first double-double of the season Wednesday with 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting, 11 rebounds and four blocks. "Tonight might have been his best game," coach Steve Clifford told reporters of Bamba. "He's in a routine and he does a good job with it. He's made good progress since last year."

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (5-15): Cleveland allowed Detroit to shoot 54.3 percent from the field while watching the Pistons drain 18-of-35 from 3-point range in Tuesday's loss, when it was outscored 65-40 in the middle quarters. "It's really a tough one for us," Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love told reporters after the setback. "We were pretty happy with most of the game (against Milwaukee, 119-110 defeat) and how we played. (Tuesday) we came out and laid an egg." Guard Collin Sexton leads the team in scoring (18.1) after averaging 19 the past five games and forward Tristan Thompson (13.9 points, 10.6 rebounds) boasts double-doubles in three straight contests.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Cleveland rookie SG Kevin Porter Jr. had 12 points and a season-best seven rebounds Tuesday against Detroit.

2. Orlando PG D.J. Augustin, who leads the team in assists (4.6), has scored 35 points combined the last two games.

3. Cavaliers G Jordan Clarkson, who averages 14 points, is just 10-of-30 from the field the past three contests.

Prediction

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Stadium

Quicken Loans Arena
Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Capacity: 20,562

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Last Injuries

Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Ante Zizic

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | out

    Zizic is suffering from a vestibular condition. A timetable for return has yet to be established.

  • Brandon Knight

    Knee
    Out Sat | out

    Knight has missed the past four games due to a sore left knee, and he will not return to the court Saturday against the Bulls.

  • John Henson

    Back
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Henson has been absent from the lineup during the last two games with lower-back soreness, but he is likely to be available versus the Wizards on Thursday.

  • Dante Exum

    Ankle
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Exum has a sprained right ankle, and it is unclear if he will be in the lineup against the Bulls on Saturday.

  • Dylan Windler

    Shin
    out for season | out

    Windler is expected to miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season after surgery to repair a left tibial stress reaction.

  • Kevin Love

    Rest
    Out Tues | out

    Love is not expected to play against the Clippers on Tuesday as he will be given the night to rest.

  • Larry Nance Jr.

    Knee
    Prob Tues | probable

    Nance Jr. has been sidelined due to left knee soreness, but is expected to make his return against the Clippers on Tuesday.

  • Dante Exum

    Illness
    Prob Mon | probable

    Exum has missed the previous three games due to an illness, but it is likely that he will return to the lineup Monday against the Lakers.

Orlando Magic

  • Jonathan Isaac

    Knee
    out for season | out

    Isaac is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to a posterior lateral corner injury and a medial bone contusion to his left knee.

  • Markelle Fultz

    Finger
    Prob Fri | probable

    Fultz is expected to take the court against the Celtics on Friday despite dislocating his left ring finger.

  • BJ Johnson

    Personal
    Prob Wed | probable

    Johnson was absent from the lineup during the last game due to personal reasons. It is anticipated that he will rejoin the team in time for Wednesday's contest against the Thunder.

  • D.J. Augustin

    Knee
    Mid Feb | out

    Augustin is anticipated to be out of action for at least three to four weeks with left knee bone irritation.

  • Evan Fournier

    Quadricep
    Prob Thurs | probable

    Fournier was held out of the previous game due to a right quadriceps contusion, but he is likely to line up against the Clippers on Thursday.

  • Kyle O'Quinn

    Illness
    Prob Wed | probable

    O'Quinn has sat out the past five games due to an illness, but he will likely be available for Wednesday's matchup versus the Nets.

  • D.J. Augustin

    Knee
    Prob Mon | probable

    Augustin missed the last game with a left knee contusion, but it is likely that he will play against the Kings on Monday.

  • Aaron Gordon

    Calf
    Prob Mon | probable

    Gordon missed the previous game due to right calf tightness, but it is projected that he will play Monday against the Kings.