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Cavaliers 119, Magic 108

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- For a team that's lost 12 in a row, the Orlando Magic was anything but an easy mark.

The Cavaliers, though, are one of the Eastern Conference's hottest teams. They held off the Magic, 119-108, on Friday at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Magic (14-36) hasn't won since Jan. 16. Yet, it didn't go down easy. It trailed by just three points, 104-101, with 4 minutes to play.

The Cavs snapped a 10-game losing streak to Orlando.

All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving paced the Cavs (16-34) with 24 points, six rebounds and eight assists.

Backup center Marreese Speights was 12 of 12 from the foul line en route to 18 points and five rebounds.

The Cavs are 11-11 in their last 22 games. In their last 10 games, they are 7-3.

Forward Tristan Thompson added 16 points, while guard Dion Waiters had 15 and Wayne Ellington 14.

The Cavs outscored the Magic off the bench, 51-15.

For Orlando, three players scored at least 21 points. Center Nikola Vucevic erupted for a career-high 25 points and 13 rebounds, both game highs.

Guard Arron Afflalo added 23 points, while forward Andrew Nicholson had 21 points and eight rebounds. Point guard Jameer Nelson dished out a game-high 13 assists.

The Magic shot 52.3 percent from the field, while the Cavs shot a respectable 48.8 percent.

Orlando outrebounded the Cavs, 39-32.

The Cavs took a one-point advantage, 81-80, after three quarters. They scored 13 unanswered points, including the first nine of the fourth quarter. Their run expanded to 15-6, which allowed them to go up by 10 points, 96-86.

Irving had eight points and three rebounds in the third.

Many were expecting a blowout by the Cavs. That was anything but the case in the first half, as the two teams were tied 56-56.

Nicholson (14 points, four rebounds) and Vucevic (15 points, 10 rebounds) were a handful in the first half. They helped the Magic to outrebound the Cavs in the first half, 23-13. They shot 53.3 percent from the field in the first half, compared to the Cavs' 51.3 percent.

The Cavs' starting backcourt of Irving and Waiters combined for 22 points in the first half on 9 of 14 shooting. Waiters was particularly hot in the first half, as he made 5 of 6 shots en route to 13 points.

Thompson had 10 points in the first half. Forward Luke Walton had three rebounds in his six minutes in the first half and had a team-high three rebounds.

The teams were tied 24-24 after the first quarter. The Magic outrebounded the Cavs in the opening quarter, 14-5. Waiters had eight points in the first quarter. Vucevic got off to a great start with 11 points, six rebounds and a block in the opening quarter.

Notes: Irving will be burning the candle at both ends during All-Star weekend. Irving will take part in the Rising Stars Challenge next Friday, the Three-Point Contest on Saturday and the All-Star Game on Sunday. "I'm not really worried," he said. "This is my first All-Star weekend. I'm a 20-year-old kid. I'll enjoy it as much as possible." Cavs coach Byron Scott said his star guard will be a very busy man. "They are going to run him ragged," he said. Scott plans on setting up the racks of balls after practice on Tuesday and have a shootout with Irving. "I'll show him how it's done," Scott said. Scott went to the long-distance shootout twice during his career, in 1987 and 1988. He finished third in '88 behind eventual winner Larry Bird and Dale Ellis. He said he'd gladly offer advice to his prodigy. The question is whether he wants to accept it. "I have to get advice from a first-place winner," Irving said. ... Afflalo missed six games with a strained calf. He returned to the starting lineup. "He's 100 percent healthy to go," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ... TNT analyst Shaquille O'Neal made Irving the third overall pick in the Rising Stars Challenge. "I might go out and get 50 this time," Irving said. "Some people didn't know if I'd play in the game. Being picked third, I definitely want to play now." Irving will be joined by teammates Waiters and Tyler Zeller on Team Shaq. Tristan Thompson is on Team Chuck. "I've always been an outcast," Thompson said. ... The Magic was playing without shooting guard J.J. Redick (sore right shoulder) and forwards Al Harrington (right knee), Glen Davis (fractured right foot) and Hedo Turkoglu (fractured left hand). ... The Cavs are expected to offer free agent center Greg Oden a two-year contract with a team option for a third year after the Feb. 21 trade deadline passes, a league source told ohio.com.
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