The Orlando Magic lost a heart breaker to the Cleveland Cavaliers 87-81 in overtime.
This was an ugly basketball game by both teams as neither team was able to reach 80 points in regulation. Both teams were without key contributors in Nikola Vucevic and Kyrie Irving. The game became a complete disaster late in the 4th quarter for the Magic. Let’s take a look at the key moments that led to the collapse.
The Orlando Magic had every opportunity to defeat the Cavs on Thursday, but the Magic decided to beat themselves instead. For about 47 minutes, the Magic had outplayed the Cavs in Cleveland, then the train derailed in rather impressive fashion.
The Magic led the Cavs 79-70 and appeared to be on its way to an easy win. Then, Cavaliers forward C.J. Miles fouled Magic power forward Glen Davis, giving Davis the opportunity to give the Magic an 11 point lead. Davis would miss those two free throws.
On the ensuing Cavs possession, Cavs guard Dion Waiters drove to the basket and was fouled by Davis. The foul not only allowed Waiters to cut the lead to 79-72, but it also stopped the clock.
The Magic do a good job working the shot clock with Magic guard Arron Afflalo taking a 3-point shot with two seconds remaining on the shot clock. Afflalo missed the shot, but with a 7-point lead and only 28 seconds left in the game, the Magic seemingly had plenty of cushion.
On the next Cavs possession, Magic guard Jameer Nelson does the unthinkable and fouls Cavs guard Jarrett Jack on a 3-point shot attempt. Jack goes to the free throw line and makes all three free throws, cutting the Magic’s lead down to four at 79-75 with 13 seconds remaining.
Then after a Magic timeout, Tobias Harris fails to inbound the ball resulting in a 5-second violation. There is still 13 seconds left.
With only 3 seconds elapsing, Waiters made a driving layup to cut the lead to 79-77 with 10 seconds remaining.
The Magic successfully inbounded the ball to guard E’Twaun Moore, who is then immediately fouled by the Cavs. Moore, a career 84 percent free throw shooter, then steps to the line and misses both free throws.
After a timeout by the Cavs, Waiters drives unimpeded around Magic guard Arron Afflalo to the basket and tied the game at 79 with .5 seconds left in the game. This ensured the Magic’s collapse.
The Magic will have to get back on track quickly as they will host the Miami Heat on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.