After earning what Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy called Or..."/>

After earning what Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy called Or..."/>

Orlando Magic @ Cleveland Cavaliers


After earning what Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy called Orlando’s “biggest win of the season” with a buzzer-beating 85-82 victory over the Denver Nuggets Friday night, the Orlando Magic will try to make it three straight victories when they play the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night.

The Magic are now 44-26 while Cleveland is a league-worst 13-55.

This will be the fourth meeting between the two squads. Orlando has one all three games so far.

Back on November 26 in Orlando, the Magic used Dwight Howard’s 23 points and 11 rebounds to defeat the Cavaliers 111-100.

About a month later (December 28), Gilbert Arenas (22 points) and the Magic bench dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring Cleveland 35-21 in the period en route to a 110-95 victory. Orlando’s bench totaled 54 points.

On January 30, the teams met again in Orlando and the Magic rolled to a 103-87 victory. Ryan Anderson lead all scorers with 23 points while Dwight Howard posted 20 points and 20 rebounds.

The Cavaliers are 10th in pace (94.9), last in offensive efficiency (98.6) and last in defensive efficiency (109.9).

The game will be shown locally on Sun Sports. As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.

Tip off from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio is scheduled for 7:00 pm EST.

The Line: Orlando – 11.5, 193u


Cleveland Cavaliers

J.J. Hickson
Samardo Samuels
Alonzo Gee
Anthony Parker
Ramon Sessions

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard
Brandon Bass
Hedo Tukoglu
Jason Richardson
Jameer Nelson

Forward Antawn Jamison is out for the season after having left pinky surgery. Semih Erden is out indefinitely (strained right adductor/groin/shoulder). Baron Davis is questionable with back spasms.

J.J. Redick will miss his fifth straight game with an abdominal strain. Gilbert Arenas, who missed Friday’s game, is listed as questionable (sore left knee/tightness in calf).

The officials will be Ron Garretson, David Guthrie and Mark Lindsay.

Of Note: The Magic, who famously defeated LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finlas, have seen their rivalry with Cleveland whither away in James’ absence. The Magic have now defeated the Cavaliers five straight times, 13 of the last 18 and are now 43-37 all-time against Cleveland. Magic assistant coach Brendan Malone coached the Cavaliers for the final 18 games during the 2004-05 season.

Opponent To Watch: Ramon Sessions, G – Although Sessions is averaging just 12.7 points per game and is going through a shooting slump (he’s shooting just 39.6% in the month of March, lowering his season percentage to 45.4%), he can still be a dangerous player.

Although Sessions hasn’t played much against the Magic (20.7 minutes per game), he has shot the ball well (54.2% from the field) and should challenge Jameer Nelson, Chris Duhon and possibly Gilbert Arenas.

Sessions has averaged 9.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game in 10 career meetings with the Magic.

What To Watch For: Cleveland is the worst team in the NBA. They rank last in both offensive and defensive efficiency and have the league’s worst record. This should be a game Orlando rolls in even if both Redick and Arenas miss another game. However, consistency has been a problem for the Magic and they’ve dropped several games to teams they have no business losing to. If the Magic come out and give the proper effort, they should win the game with relative ease.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider ( Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).