Playing on Christmas Day for the seventh time in its history and first since 1989, Cleveland will try to break a six-game losing streak at Orlando, where it hasn’t won since Nov. 5, 1999.
The Cavaliers have won three in a row following Tuesday’s 97-86 home victory over New Orleans. It is their first three-game run since April 6-10, 2002—a span of 113 games.
“I like to win,” said James, who had 22 points, six rebounds and a season-high six steals. “I’m a winner, so yeah, I’m happy.”
The Cavs, at 9-19, are more than halfway to their win total (17) from all of last season.
The last time they won four straight overall came in February 2002. That’s also the last time Cleveland won three consecutive road games.
Since ending a 34-game road losing streak, Cleveland has won two in a row away from Gund Arena.
James leads all rookies with 19.3 points a game. He is averaging 28.5 points in his last six.
He’ll go head-to-head for the first time with McGrady, who along with James, are two of many players to make the jump from high school to the NBA.
Though James is having a much better rookie season than McGrady did when he averaged 7.0 points in 1997, McGrady is currently the league’s second-leading scorer behind Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson (28.9).
McGrady was limited to 20 points on Monday as the Magic had their season-high, three-game win streak snapped in a 95-73 defeat at Philadelphia.
The Magic went 22-for-35 from the free-throw line and shot 33 percent from the field.
Despite the loss, the Magic have won six of nine since ending their franchise-record 19-game losing streak.
“We’ve been playing so well that we just knew it was going to end soon,” McGrady said. “We had a bad game coming our way and I think we played a tired game. Everybody was pretty tired.”
Along with Williams, the Magic will get a second-round pick in next year’s draft and cash from the Sixers for a conditional second-round pick.
The 6-foot-8 Williams, who has career averages of 6.3 points and 2.8 rebounds, has spent this season on the injured list with a bad left knee. He played three years with Orlando before signing with Philadelphia prior to last season.