- The Cavs don’t need to feel so badly about their home loss to the Trail Blazers last week. The Pacers also lost to Portland at home and just advanced to the In-Season Tournament championship game.
- The important number for the Cavs is the fact they have won eight of 11, and four of the five games in which they’ve had all their starters. Going back to the season-opener, a road win over the Nets, the Cavs are pretty good and reliable when their starting five is intact.
- You can read more about the Cavs and they’re strong play lately in the latest dribbles here.
- Or you can just listen to Max Strus and what he had to say about the win over the Magic on Wednesday. “It was a step in the right direction for us,” Strus said. “We kind of grew up a little, figured it out and came together as a team.”
The Bucks’ run in the In-Season Tournament reached an end during their semifinal loss to the Pacers, a close one for most of the night. But it was Indiana that finished the game strong.
“We’ve got to close it out in the fourth quarter, which is something we’ve done very well, we just couldn’t pull it off tonight,” coach Adrian Griffin told reporters. “It’s not the outcome that we wanted but we made it to Vegas and we got to experience this. And I think it’s going to do wonders for our team. You always learn in wins and you learn in losses.”
- The Bucks’ starters played well, per usual — with Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring 37 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Damian Lillard added 24 points, Khris Middleton had 20 and Brook Lopez 18. But the bench was outscored by a whopping 43-13 count.
- The Magic went just 2-of-23 on 3-pointers in Wednesday’s loss to the Cavaliers — their worst showing on threes in nearly a decade — when they went 1-of-17 vs. the Cavs in a 91-85 loss in April 2013.
- Forward/center Paolo Banchero, of course, was dynamite inside and from mid-range on his way to a career-high 42 points. “I felt good coming in, but it’s crazy to have 42 points,” he said. “It’s an honor being a part of a very storied organization with a lot of great players like the Orlando Magic.”