Without Kyrie Irving (who was out with a left knee contusion), the Cleveland Cavaliers took on the Orlando Magic on Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena. Around 7 PM, something resembling a basketball game happened between the two teams happens, with the Cavaliers ultimately pulling out a 87-81 win in overtime. The win snapped a six game losing streak for the Wine & Gold. RDE co-editor Zak Kolesar was on the scene, where many fans left the arena, choosing to brave a brutal snowstorm in downtown Cleveland rather than stay in the warm and finish watching the “game”:
Down nine points with 1:04 remaining in the contest, a good handful of those that faired the horrendous Cleveland snow to watch a couple of teams fighting to pull out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference piled out of Quicken Loans Arena. But the reason was justified: both teams were shooting under 40 percent and the Cavs started off the first six-plus minutes of the fourth quarter scoring a meager five points.
But those who believed were awarded a late Christmas present from the Cavaliers, as Cleveland halted a six-game skid dating back to Dec. 21 thanks to resilience and focus down the stretch.
“It was an ugly game, just how I like them,” head coach Mike Brown said in the postgame presser. “Our guys never gave up. They just kept fighting and fighting, and that’s one of the things we’ve been trying to tell our team: ‘Hey, just keep competing.’”
All things considered, at least the Cavaliers got the win against a team more horrible than themselves and did it without their best player. Granted, the Magic were also without center Nikola Vucevic, but a win is a win. One milestones of note: Anderson Varejao set the Cavaliers single game record for rebounds. And, without further adieu, here are the highlights from Cavaliers-Magic.