The Orlando Magic now have played 50 games this regular season. After all that time, they should know they must improve their team defense.
That lesson just doesn't seem to be getting through, at least not well enough.
Breakdowns on defense, an inability to defend without fouling and an avalanche of turnovers doomed the Magic on Friday night. They lost a winnable game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, another rebuilding team, 119-108 at Quicken Loans Arena.
"It's everything," said point guard and co-captain Jameer Nelson. "It's communication. It's mental lapses. It's just being smart on rotations. There's a numerous amount of things that are going on that we can correct. But we obviously have to have some type of sense of urgency to correct them."
The defeat extended the Magic's losing streak to 12 consecutive games, the longest losing streak since the team lost 13 consecutive games in the 2004 season.
"We're going to have to hold teams in the low 90s or 80s," said wing Arron Afflalo. "So when teams are scoring 119, we're not going to win."
The Magic committed 19 turnovers, which led to 22 Cavaliers points.
Orlando also committed a spate of costly personal fouls — so many of them that Cleveland went 34 of 41 from the free-throw line.
"We've just got to be better fundamentally," said Andrew Nicholson, who scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds but also committed five fouls.
"I've just got to learn to get there early and just not reach-in as a big guy."
Magic fall to Cavaliers 119-108 to lose their 12th straight
Orlando Sentinel | Feb 9