Nelson helps Magic outlast Cavs 108-104
- Article by: KYLE HIGHTOWER
- Associated Press
- November 23, 2012 - 9:02 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. - Jameer Nelson had 22 points, Arron Afflalo scored 19 and the Orlando Magic rallied to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-104 on Friday night.
Glen Davis had 10 of his 16 points in Orlando's big fourth quarter. Nelson finished with six assists for the Magic, who have won two straight and continue their five-game homestand Sunday against Boston.
Dion Waiters scored 25 points for Cleveland, and Anderson Varejao had 19. The Cavaliers have lost seven of eight and face Miami on Saturday.
Orlando had 16 turnovers in the first half, but just two after the break. The Magic connected on 11 of 21 3-pointers for the game.
Saddled with turnover issues in the first half, the Magic trailed for most of the game but managed to rally by turning some of the Cavaliers' turnovers into easy points. It was tied headed to the fourth quarter, and there were eight lead changes in the final 12 minutes.
Afflalo hit a 3-pointer from the wing with less than two minutes remaining, giving the Magic a 98-94 lead.
A free throw and tip-in by Tyler Zeller trimmed Orlando's advantage to a point, but a driving layup by Nikola Vucevic restored the Magic's three-point lead at 100-97 with 32.3 seconds to play.
J.J. Redick hit eight free throws in the final minute to help the Magic hold on.
The Cavaliers played their second straight game without point guard Kyrie Irving, who is recovering from a broken bone in his hand.
Jeremy Pargo, coming off a huge effort in his first start of the year, had 15 points for Cleveland. But he struggled to contain Nelson, whose outside shooting spread the floor and opened up Orlando's offense.
The Magic were also continuing an adjustment period of sorts, with rookie Maurice Harkless receiving his second straight start at shooting guard and Afflalo was at small forward.
That experiment looks promising, with the athletic Harkless looking more comfortable and contributing on both sides of the floor.
It was stop-and-go basketball in a sloppy first half, thanks to a total of 21 turnovers and 24 fouls.
The Magic were responsible for 16 of those giveaways, which led to 21 points. The Cavaliers led by as many as 12.
NOTES: The Magic have won eight straight games over the Cavs, including 18 of the last 23 regular-season matchups. ... Davis went flying into the front row of courtside seats and landed on a fan while chasing a loose ball late in the fourth quarter. But both he and the spectator were fine, and Davis was able to return to the action. ... Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said he doesn't think the Magic's seven different starting lineups this season have played that much of a factor in their struggles to this point. "I don't think there's been a correlation," he said. "We lost two starters the first game of the year and it was just making due, trying to find a combination that was going to be conducive to success."
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