After being destroyed by the Atlanta Hawks 109-81 Friday night, the Magic will try to get back in the win column when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday afternoon. The Cavaliers defeated the Washington Wizards Saturday to improve their record to 20-38. The Magic enter with a record of 34-25.
The Magic rank 16th in offensive rating (104.6), 11th in defensive rating (103.3) and play at the league’s fifth-slowest pace (892). The Cavs are 24th in offensive rating (101.4), 26th in defensive rating (108.2) and play at the 14th-fastest pace (91.5).
Tip-off from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio is scheduled for 6:00 pm EST and will be shown locally on FS Florida.
As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and FM 96.5 and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.
The officials for tonight’s game are Derrick Stafford, Tommy Nunez Jr. and Violet Palmer.
The Line: Orlando – 5.5 (190.5u)
*Rookie of the Year favorite Kyrie Irving could return from his shoulder injury, but will likely miss the game. n
**Dwight Howard remains out with a herniated disc.
If the Magic are going to have home court advantage in the first round, these are the types of games they have to win.
In fact, the Cavaliers are even more beat up than the Magic, especially if Irving can’t go. They’re also missing Semih Erden (day-to-day with a sprained right ankle), Daniel Gibson (out for the season after having left foot surgery) and Anderson Varejao (out indefinitely with a broken right wrist). The Magic are, of course, without Hedo Turkoglu after he had facial surgery.
Veteran forward Antawn Jamison should be fairly fresh after getting the day off Saturday.
Orlando’s magic number is one, meaning they’ll clinch a playoff spot with a win Sunday.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)