NBA: Magic hold off Cavaliers to end six-game losing streak | Inquirer Sports

NBA: Magic hold off Cavaliers to end six-game losing streak

/ 11:06 AM April 06, 2022
Markelle Fultz Magic NBA

Markelle Fultz #20 of the Orlando Magic drives on Isaac Okoro #35 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during a game at Amway Center on April 05, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

Markelle Fultz had 16 points and six assists in his first start in almost 15 months, helping the host Orlando Magic break a six-game losing streak with a 120-115 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.

Mo Bamba posted his third consecutive double-double. He scored 15 of his 21 points in the first quarter and also finished with a team-high 12 rebounds and tied a career-high with six blocks.

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Ignas Brazdeikis contributed a season-high 20 points — 14 in the opening half — and Moe Wagner netted 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting in 20 minutes.

Fultz, who made 8 of 12 field goals in 24 minutes, last started an NBA game on Jan. 6, 2021. He had played limited minutes off the bench since returning from a torn ACL in late February.

Orlando outscored the Cavaliers 32-25 in the third quarter for a 91-86 lead. R.J. Hampton’s basket with 6:40 remaining pushed the Magic’s advantage to 105-95, but Cleveland continued to cut into the lead as Darius Garland’s 3-pointer with 16.2 seconds left brought the Cavs within 117-115.

Hampton’s two free throws with 10.6 seconds to play gave Orlando (21-59) a four-point lead. Garland missed a contested 3 at the other end and Devin Cannady’s free throw with 5.2 seconds left sealed Cleveland’s seventh loss in nine games.

Orlando, which finished 16-for-35 from 3-point range and committed just seven turnovers, had eight players score in double figures. Robin Lopez and Chuma Okeke scored 11 points and Hampton (seven assists) and Cannady each added 10.

Garland (10 assists) scored 13 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and Lauri Markkanen chipped in 25 points, making six of the Cavaliers’ 16 3-pointers.

Cleveland (43-37) also received double-doubles from Kevin Love (17 points and 13 rebounds) and Moses Brown (10 points and 12 rebounds). Caris LeVert scored 11 points.

Orlando’s Franz Wagner, who had started all 78 games until suffering a sprained left ankle against Toronto on April 1, played just over six minutes in his return to the lineup. Wagner left with 5:12 remaining in the first quarter and did not come back after spraining his other ankle.

Cleveland and Orlando combined to shoot 54 percent (20-for-37) from beyond the arc in the first half.

Bamba made all five of his 3-point attempts in the first quarter, and the Magic made 10 of 17 3s in the first half. Markkanen went 4-for-7 from long range during the opening two periods and Cedi Osman came off the bench to score all 11 of his points in the second quarter, including three of the Cavaliers’ 10 first-half triples.

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