CLEVELAND — With the 2013-14 trade deadline looming at 3 p.m. Thursday, this is the most unsettled time of the season for NBA players. The possibility of a trade and the false rumors that spread so easily over social media can create angst for even the most wily veteran.
But coach Jacque Vaughn hasn’t mentioned one word about the deadline to any of his Orlando Magic players, who lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 101-93 on Wednesday night.
“I’ll always be that way,” Vaughn said. “I’ll tell the guys the most important thing about today is you’ve got a game. It’s today’s game. And, for me, there’s no need to mention it. If it comes, it goes. Then we’ll deal with any ramifications if there are any.”
Jameer Nelson needed to score 12 points against the Cavaliers to pass Shaquille O’Neal and become the fourth-leading scorer in Magic history.
Nelson didn’t quite get there.
He finished with five points to go along with four rebounds, nine assists and one turnover.
O’Neal scored 8,019 regular-season points as a Magic player. Nelson now has 8,013 career regular-season points.
“I’m honored to be able to last as long in the NBA and continue to live out my dream and being in the same organization for the amount of years I’ve been here,” Nelson said before tipoff. “To be recognized and be in the same sentence as all of the guys you’re mentioning or guys I’m passing in records is just an honor because those guys were great players.”
Dwight Howard is the Magic’s all-time leading scorer, with 11,435 points. Nick Anderson (10,650) ranks second, and Tracy McGrady (8,298) ranks third.
Nelson already is the franchise leader in regular-season assists. He now has 3,368 assists for his career.
Big Baby out
Glen Davis left Wednesday's game after playing almost six minutes in the first quarter.
Vaughn said he subbed out Davis, and Davis then said he had a sore right Achilles' tendon
Vaughn said Davis was kept out of the rest of the game as a precaution.
Davis’ absence will fuel rumors that the Magic intend to trade him before the deadline.
Indeed, the Magic have engaged in trade talks with a couple of teams about Davis, a burly power forward who could benefit a playoff-bound team because of his tenacity as a low-post defender.
On Tuesday night, Davis played a season-low 13 minutes in Tuesday's 104-100 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
At the time, Vaughn explained he didn't like matching up Davis against the Bucks' Ersan Ilyasova, a 6-foot-10 power forward who runs the floor well and can shoot from distance. Vaughn also didn't want to match Davis against Caron Butler, a 6-foot-7 swingman who was subbed in for Ilyasova.
"I just went small," Vaughn said. "Ilyasova and Caron Butler at the 4 position? A different challenge for you, so we decided to go small."
The Magic entered Wednesday's game against the Cavaliers with a league-worst 3-24 road record and a 13-game road losing streak.
At home, the Magic have scored 102.1 points per 100 possessions, according to the NBA's statistics database. On the road, they had scored 95.3 points per 100 possessions through Tuesday.
At home, the Magic have allowed 102.6 points per 100 possessions. On the road, they had allowed 105.9 points per 100 possessions.
The loss to the Bucks featured a bunch of small mistakes. The Magic committed too many fouls and turned the ball over too often.
"They made a couple of runs," center Nik Vucevic said. "We responded, but we can't have those letdowns on the road. We've got to play consistently."
Indiana University fans have shown up at almost every Magic road game this season to cheer on Victor Oladipo.
On Wednesday, second-year power forward and St. Bonaventure University alumnus Andrew Nicholson was the focus of attention for some fans.
St. Bonaventure, N.Y., and Cleveland are about 190 miles apart via interstate highways, and a few fans of the Bonnies said over Twitter that they expected to attend the game.
In almost 16 minutes, Nicholson scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds.
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