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NBA -- LeBron carries Irving-less Cavs over Orando


PhilBoxing.com




ORLANDO- Barely 24 hours after an emotional return to the American Airlines Arena in Miami, LeBron James brushed aside the lingering feelings and wowed the sellout crowd of 18,648 at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando on Saturday night.

With a bunch of Cleveland jerseys visible during the game, James gave those cheering sections of fans a show worth watching. He scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to spearheaded the Cavs' 90-89 victory over the Magic.

Behind by four, 75-71, heading into the last 12 minutes of play, James and the Cavs capitalized on the Magic's poor shooting (23.1 percent) and out-rebounded the hosts 15-8 in that quarter.

The Cavs, who were without its star guard, Kyrie Irving-- a late scratch due to a sore knee, relied more on Kevin Love, who despite of having not played in the fourth, still scored 22 points with 17 of it in the first half. Dion Waiters added 17 points off the bench.

Love also grabbed seven rebounds and understood his coach's decision to have him sit in the final quarter, "It was all about the matchups.." Love spoke to reporters post-game, "More than anything, we got the win and I'm happy with that."

Despite having five players scoring in double figures, the Magic trailed by three points after Nikola Vucevic's dunk with 1:58 left in the game,. The hosts didn't score the rest of the way.

Apart from Vucevic's 12 points and 8 rebounds, Tobias Harris scored 16 points and Evan Fournier chipped in 15 markers off the bench.

It was another disappointing loss for the Magic who were ahead as many as 10 points in the first half and to have another game slip away towards the end, is starting to take a toll on this young team.

?This has been happening pretty much every single game we?ve played at home in the fourth quarter,? forward Harris said after the match-up. ?In the last five minutes, we just totally get away from what we?ve been doing all game, which was moving the ball, getting the ball to the guys that are open and making easy shots."

Harris added, "We took some bad shots in the fourth quarter. We rushed a lot of shots. And that was why we lost.?

The Magic (11-21) who have now lost seven of their last nine games will visit Charlotte Saturday night while the Cavaliers will host the visiting Pistons on Sunday. (BC)

Photo: LeBron James sparked the Cavs' rally that beat the Orlando Magic, 90-89, Friday night at the Amway Center.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Benson Chiu.


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