Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 11th 2023

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The Cleveland Cavaliers, winners in five of their last six including the past three straight, look to keep rolling on Monday when they visit the Orlando Magic for the second matchup between the two teams in five days.

Orlando’s run of nine consecutive wins ended on Dec. 2 when it visited Brooklyn, dropping a 129-101 decision. The Magic followed that with a 121-111 loss in Cleveland when Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points and Darius Garland posted 26 points with nine assists for the Cavaliers.

Orlando then rebounded with a 123-91 rout of Detroit on Friday. Franz Wagner led the way with 27 points, and Paolo Banchero — who scored 42 points in the loss at Cleveland — went for 24 points vs. the Pistons.

As far as the Magic building off Friday’s win, Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley listed three points of emphasis for the rematch with Cleveland when asked in his postgame press conference.

“Don’t shoot 2-for-23 (on 3-point attempts), don’t miss 10 free throws, and (get) defensive rebounds,” he said.

The Magic’s woeful 3-point shooting last time against the Cavaliers, contrasted with Cleveland’s 14-of-34 shooting from long range, was compounded by a 27-of-37 performance at the free-throw line.

And while Orlando gave up only seven offensive rebounds, Cleveland converted second-chance opportunities into 19 points.

The Cavaliers followed the win over the Magic with a 111-99 victory in Miami on Friday. Cleveland rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit thanks to effective transition offense.

The Cavaliers outscored the Heat in fast-break points 23-11, capitalizing in part on 18 Miami turnovers.

Mitchell led the way with 27 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Meanwhile, in his postgame press conference, Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff had high praise for Dean Wade.

Wade grabbed six rebounds and had just five points on 2-of-5 shooting from the floor but finished with a team-best plus-minus rating of plus-23.

“Dean was awesome. We talk about guys who just play their position and play their role and sacrifice of themselves just to help the team and Dean was unbelievable defensively tonight,” Bickerstaff said. “What he did tonight was a clinic on how you play one-on-one defense, how you execute our system defensively as a team defender.”

Friday’s win marked Cleveland’s third time this season limiting an opponent to fewer than 100 points and was the first since a 109-95 win over Portland on Nov. 15.

The Cavaliers’ point-per-game yield is up from a season ago, when they held opponents to an NBA-leading 106.9 points a contest. They rank seventh in the league this season with 110.6 points allowed per game.

Orlando was without two of its top defensive presences its last time out. Team leader in steals Jalen Suggs with 1.9 per game and Jonathan Isaac, averaging 1.3 blocks a contest, are both day-to-day with ankle injuries.

The Magic rank in the upper echelon of defenses around the league at 109.6 points allowed a game, good for sixth through games played on Friday, while scoring at the NBA’s 13th-best clip of 114.5 points per game.

–Field Level Media

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