Magic head to Cleveland still seeking first road win

Sports
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The Orlando Magic are the lone remaining NBA team yet to win on the road this season.

The Magic aim to put an end to that narrative and avert yet another fruitless road trip on Wednesday when they conclude a four-game trek against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Orlando shot itself in the foot in the second half on Monday, recording just 33 points on a porous 28.2-percent performance from the floor in a 103-88 setback at Detroit. The Magic shot 5 of 21 from the field in the third quarter and 6 of 18 in the fourth.

Orlando can cite that it was missing starters Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon to ankle injuries; just don’t say those words around coach Steve Clifford.

“I don’t care about that,” Clifford told reporters about the injuries. “You’ve gotta play the right way. If we play the right way and we lose, that’s one thing. That’s not what we did. Things are working and we played a good first half, and then we go out (in the second half) and … same thing.”

The “same thing” was another loss on the road for the Magic, who fell to 0-7 away from Amway Center.

“It’s on us. We’ve gotta do better, man,” power forward Jonathan Isaac told the Orlando Sentinel. “I think just staying with it, even when we do have a couple of possessions when we don’t score. … Just staying with the game plan and staying with the offensive fluidity.

“We just gotta stay with what works. I think this will be good for us. We gotta come together and be ready for Cleveland.”

Terrence Ross led the Magic with 19 points off the bench against the Pistons, hitting 7 of 14 shots. But Evan Fournier was more indicative of the team’s struggles on the night, scoring 17 points but on 5-of-16 shooting. He misfired on all five attempts from 3-point range.

The 27-year-old had a much more economical performance in his previous encounter with the Cavaliers, scoring 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting in the season opener.

Cleveland forward Kevin Love, who collected 11 points and 18 rebounds in the first meeting with the Magic, sat out for the second straight game with a sore back in Monday’s 108-106 loss to Brooklyn.

Jordan Clarkson scored 16 of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter while Larry Nance Jr. added 20 for the Cavaliers, who have lost seven of their past eight contests.

Cedi Osman continued his recent ascent on Monday with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor.

“We had to change some of the things in our offense to make sure (Osman) did get the ball,” coach John Beilein said, per Cleveland.com. “Frankly, we just scripted more things for him. And it was because when we scripted it, the five assists he had the other day (vs. Portland on Saturday) — when we have three guys who can really assist from a downhill type of position, that’s going to be huge for us.”

Osman is averaging 12.6 points on 14-of-29 shooting from the field and 6 of 16 from 3-point range over the last three games.

–Field Level Media

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