Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Unlike Wednesday when the Cavs toyed all night with the Charlotte Bobcats, the Orlando Magic put up a much tougher fight.
Lucky enough for the Cavs, they had that little bit of extra to put away a team that had beaten them 10 straight times.
It took nearly three quarters to finally build a bit of a lead, but once they did it the Cavs were able to do enough to beat Orlando 119-108.
The win is the third straight for the Cavs, and the team has now won six of their last seven at the Q dating back to a January 9th win over the Hawks.
The victory puts the Cavs at 16-34, while the Magic have now lost 12 straight, and going back to mid-December they have dropped 23 of their last 25 games.
They didn’t play like it most of the night, as Nikola Vucevic put in 25 points with 13 rebounds on 12-for-19 shooting.
He helped the Magic early in the game beat up the Cavs inside, which is a main reason the two teams were tied at the end of the first quarter at 24, and again at the half at 56.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 22 points, and Marreese Speights was a force off the bench with 18 points. Speights was 12-for-12 from the free throw line.
The bench dominated in the fourth quarter, with Speights and Wayne Ellington leading the way. Ellington had 14 points, including 3-for-5 three-point baskets.
Tristan Thompson had 16 for the Cavs, and Dion Waiters had 15. Thompson was 7-for-11 shooting from the field.
Arron Afflalo gave the Magic a boost with 23 points, while Andrew Nicholson put in 21 as Orlando continued to fight their way into it late in the third quarter.
It was then when the Cavs bench finally gave them a spark, and they wound up outscoring the Magic 29-24 to take a five-point lead after three.
Early in the fourth with Speights and company on the floor, the Cavs were able to build up the lead before turning it back over to the starters to finish off the Magic for good.
It’s a short turnaround for the Cavs, who are back at home Saturday night to take on the Denver Nuggets at 7:30pm.