Glen Davis does not know how to stop himself — in fact he knows he can't. When the ball is bouncing toward the sideline with a chance to be save, he said he has to go for it. He has to try and sacrifice himself for his team. Fans just have to know either to catch him or get out of the way.
As Davis soard over two, maybe three rows, of fans courtside at the Amway Center, he set the spark for a Magic win. Sure, Cleveland came down and scored on the ensuing possession, Davis' saving attempt haivng come up short, but the spark was lit in the team and the energy was felt throughout the Amway Center.
The Magic were not losing this game, just as Davis was determined to come through and save that ball no matter the cost to him.
"I’m going to do what it takes to win," Glen Davis said. "I don’t care how many points I have, or how many rebounds I have. It’s not about stats, it’s about winning ball games. It’s about doing what you need to win. Yeah, I might be an outgoing guy, but I’m more of an action guy, using my energy and get out there and motivate guys to win.
Davis had 16 points and eight rebounds, for the record, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter, a quarter that started with the Magic and Cavaliers tied.
Orlando had the better end of it in the fourth quarter thanks to nearly flawless execution and even better aggression to get to the free throw line. J.J. Redick recorded the assist on the Magic's final field goal of the game, setting up Nikola Vucevic with a gorgeous bounce pass between two defenders for an uncontested lay up. It gave the Magic a four-point lead and the cushion the team needed to win 108-104 at Amway Center on Friday.
Redick had 18 points off the bench and six assists. But the pass helped show how much Orlando had recovered from a nearly disastrous first half start. Redick had three turnovers in the game and admitted he was forcing things in the first half. So too were many players on the Magic as the Magic committed 16 turnovers in the first half and gave up seven first-half offensive rebounds.
The Cavaliers turned those 16 turnovers into 21 points and those rebounds into 13 second-chance points. The Cavaliers were the more aggressive team with 22 points in the paint. Orlando was brewing something offensively though, shooting 47.2 percent from the floor in the first half and 7 for 12 from beyond the arc. When the Magic were not turning the ball over, the ball movement was relatively crisp and quickly moving around the perimeter. And the 3-pointers were falling.
When Orlando stopped turning the ball over — two turnovers in the second half, including no turnovers in the fourth quarter — the shots continued to fall and the ball continued to move. Orlando ended up with 20 points in the paint in the third quarter alone with Jameer Nelson scoring 12 of his 22 points in the third quarter, helping Orlando get into a see-saw battle with Cleveland for the lead.
The Magic remained aggressive making six of nine shots in the paint compared to the Cavaliers' 7-for-13 shooting in the paint. It remained a tight battle and all about late-game execution.
Considering the Magic shot 50.0 percent for the game and 11 for 21 from beyond the arc, the Magic had the better end offensively with the turnovers drying up for the Cavaliers.
"It's that simple of first recognizing that we're putting outselves in a hole because of the turnovers," Jacque Vaughn said. "That we can execute and get shots, quality shots like we did in the first half, but you're digging yourself a hole with those turnovers. So it's just a recognition and then just making the simple and easy play. That's it."
Again, there was no special halftime speech from Vaughn to rally the troops. There was only a simple recognition that the Magic had to focus more and do better with their more simple execution in protecting the ball.
With that out of the way, it came down to the Magic executing their plays and making shots. The things basketball games should come down to. And Orlando continues to perform well in tight games in the fourth quarter and second half — like the team did against Detroit last week and Wednesday.
"This is the second game where we have done a really nice job executing in the last couple minutes," Redick said. "The game at Detroit, the game tonight, the times we called a play, we have gotten a good look. That’s encouraging.
"We’re still going to have times where we have trouble scoring the ball. In the fourth quarter, we didn’t. We did a really good job. We moved the ball well, we passed the ball well."
That Redick pass play that sealed the game? Redick said it was the same play the Magic had run all game long where the Magic use two pin down screens to free up the wing players and set up a pick and roll with the post player. On that particular play, Redick said, he got a pick and roll with Nikola Vucevic and Glen Davis occupied the weakside defender, allowing Redick to slip the ball easily to Vucevic for the wide open layup.
Execution, pure and simple.
It took more than execution obviously. It took a lot of will to overcome the turnovers and to overcome giving up 17 offensive rebounds — including 11 from Anderson Varejao. The Magic's biggest lead was the four-point final margin.
To have to make the adjustment Orlando made and will the team to victory was definitely something the team could appreciate and respect about this win.
"You look down at the stat sheet and the minutes, and there is numbers all over the place," Vaughn said. "Guys contributed in a lot of different ways. Another example of how we have to play: as a team, rebound together as much as we can, buying in and just getting it to the open guy. Keeping it that simple.
"We tried to complicate it a little bit with turnovers in the first half. Good adjustment in the second half with only two turnovers. That was the big difference right there to give yourself a chance."