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Cavaliers 106, Magic 74

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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CLEVELAND — LeBron James scored 29 points, including 16 in the first quarter, and the Cleveland Cavaliers ended a four-game losing streak with a 106-74 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday.

The Magic posted their lowest point total of the season and the lowest managed by a Cleveland opponent.

Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao finished with 14 points, and forward Kevin Love had 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Guard Kyrie Irving had 12 points and four assists, including the first five points of the fourth quarter as the Cavs (6-7) quickly pushed the lead to 30. James added 11 assists.

James and Love both sat the entire fourth quarter, and Irving was out of the game four minutes into the fourth after the lead swelled to 33.

The win was the Cavs’ first in more than a week and came hours after James’ blunt assessment of his play lately.

“We’ve got a four-game losing streak, so I stink,” James said before the game. “I’m not doing my job. I’ve got to do a better job.”

James averaged 18.5 points and shot 41 percent during the skid, but he attacked early and often Monday, making all seven of his free-throw attempts in the first quarter and pushing the lead to 26-16 entering the second quarter.

The Cavaliers enjoyed an 18-point cushion at halftime, but the Magic pulled within 60-48 on a dunk from forward Maurice Harkless with 8:35 left in the third quarter. The Cavs responded by scoring 16 of the next 18 points to push the lead to 76-50 late in the third quarter.

Orlando center Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and guard Victor Oladipo added 22 points and nine assists. The Magic (6-10) lost for the third time in four games.

The offensive outburst was a welcomed change for the Cavs, who shot 42 percent and averaged 89.5 points during the four-game losing streak. Cleveland made 51.9 percent from the floor Monday, while Orlando shot 36.3 percent.

NOTES: Magic F Tobias Harris missed his second game with a strained calf. F Maurice Harkless made his first start of the season in Harris’ place. Harris injured the calf last Friday. … The Magic have now played 16 games, including 10 on the road. They lead the league in both categories. The schedule demands were compounded by early-season injuries to G Victor Oladipo and F Channing Frye. … Cavs coach David Blatt is still contemplating starting lineup changes, but wants to practice first before making anything official. Tuesday will mark the Cavs’ first practice in five days. … F LeBron James began the night 10 3-pointers shy of breaking Mark Price’s franchise record for 3-pointers in a career (802). James is already the Cavs’ all-time scoring leader.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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