Magic stay hot, beat Cava­liers

Ross’ shoot­ing from free-throw line helps push win streak to 4.

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Roy Parry [email protected]­lan­dosen­tinel.com

SPORTS

CLEVE­LAND — Shot­mak­ing has been a big part of the Or­lando Magic’s three-game win­ning streak.

Their best shot­mak­ing Fri­day night in Cleve­land came from Ter­rence Ross and at the freethrow line, and they were enough to keep that win­ning streak in­tact.

Ross scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quar­ter and the Magic used a 20-7 edge from the line to out­last the Cava­liers for a 93-87 vic­tory at Rocket Mort­gage Field­house.

Evan Fournier fin­ished with 18 points, while Aaron Gor­don had 14 and D.J. Au­gustin added 10 as the Magic moved back to the .500 mark (11-11) and im­proved to 3-0 against the Cava­liers this sea­son.

“Win­ning on the road is dif­fi­cult and I thought [Cleve­land] played well, re­ally hard,” Magic coach Steve Clif­ford said.

Or­lando shot just 39.0% from the field af­ter top­ping 50% in each of its past two games when it scored 127 and 128 points.

The Magic didn’t come close to those marks on Fri­day. But while their offense strug­gled, their de­fense did not, par­tic­u­larly down the stretch.

Jonathan Isaac, the league leader in blocks, recorded four blocks in the game.

“The fo­cus was def­i­nitely on de­fense,” Fournier said. “We made some huge plays.”

The Magic are now 4-0 when hold­ing an op­po­nent un­der 90 points. They’ve done it twice against the Cava­liers.

Clif­ford said Fri­day’s ef­fort is a move to­ward get­ting back to the team’s de­fen­sive identity.

“I wouldn’t say that’s what we have to be all the time, but that’s what it needs to be,” he said.

Collin Sex­ton scored 19 points to lead the Cava­liers (5-16), who looked to be in po­si­tion to snap their four-game los­ing streak.

They took a six-point lead with just un­der four min­utes left in the third quar­ter on a Sex­ton three-point play, but Ross drained a 3 be­fore Michael Carter-Wil­liams scored in traffic from 6 feet and Mo Bamba added a free throw to tie it.

TONY DEJAK/AP

The Magic’s Jonathan Isaac, right, bat­tles the Cava­liers’ Tristan Thomp­son for pos­ses­sion of the ball Fri­day night in Cleve­land.

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