NBA: Vucevic, Magic drop Cavs in Beilein's debut

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Oct 24 2019 11:25 AM

Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Orlando Magic high fives teammates during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 23, 2019 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Fernando Medina, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

Nikola Vucevic led four players in double figures with 21 points Wednesday night as the Orlando Magic opened their 2019-20 campaign with a front-running, 94-85 victory over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, spoiling John Beilein's NBA coaching debut.

Markelle Fultz totaled 12 points to go with a game-high six assists off the bench. Terrence Ross had 10 points as the Magic, a playoff team last season, used a 36-21 advantage in points from reserves to pull away from the Cavaliers.

Four starters scored in double figures for Cleveland, led by 16 points apiece by Collin Sexton and Tristan Thompson.

The Magic, who swept a pair of home games from the Cavaliers last season, led 55-41 at halftime and still by 14 in the third minute of the third period before Cleveland made its biggest push of the night.

Sexton dropped in a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer, and Thompson added a pair of hoops as Cleveland, whose 19-63 record tied for second-worst in the NBA last season, used an 11-2 run to close within 59-54 with still 7:31 remaining in the third period.

But Evan Fournier stopped the run with a jumper, then added another as part of a 10-1 Magic counter that re-established a 14-point advantage at 69-55.

Cleveland was never closer than six from there, dealing Beilein a loss in his first game since leaving the University of Michigan for the NBA.

Fournier was a fourth Orlando player in double figures with 16 points, hitting seven of his 13 shots. The Magic outshot the Cavaliers 43 percent to 37.1.

Cedi Osman added 13 points and Kevin Love 11 for the Cavaliers, who enjoyed a 54-46 rebounding advantage over the Magic.

Love, who pulled in a game-high 18 rebounds, and Thompson with 11 boards both recorded double-doubles for Cleveland. Reserve Larry Nance Jr. added 14 rebounds off the bench.

Vucevic was the Magic's leading rebounder with nine.

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