Speights, Irving lead Cavaliers past Magic 118-94
- Article by: KYLE HIGHTOWER
- Associated Press
- February 23, 2013 - 8:47 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. - Marreese Speights scored 18 points, Alonzo Gee added 17 and the Cleveland Cavaliers used a big fourth quarter to run past the Orlando Magic 118-94 on Saturday night.
Kyrie Irving chipped in with 12 points and nine assists for the Cavaliers, who have won two straight overall and snapped a six-game losing streak in Orlando. Cleveland continues its three-game trip Sunday in Miami.
Arron Afflalo scored 16 points for the Magic in their first home game since a trade deadline deal last week that saw the departure of four players, including sixth man J.J. Redick. Two of their three new additions, Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih, finished in double figures with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Orlando has lost five consecutive games and 28 of its last 31.
The Cavaliers scored the first eight points of the final period to push their lead to 15. The Magic got it down to 11 before another 8-0 spurt made it 95-76 with less than 8 minutes to play.
Cleveland maintained its cushion down the stretch, allowing Irving to sit out the entire fourth quarter. Coach Byron Scott said afterward that Irving experienced a little soreness in his knee but was fine.
The Magic played without point guard Jameer Nelson, who missed his second straight game with a left patella contusion.
Without trade acquisitions Harris, Udrih and Doron Lamb, the Magic hung tough in a close loss to Memphis on Friday, but struggled at times against Cleveland without a true point guard opposite Irving.
Even with all three playing Saturday, the Cavaliers were clearly the more comfortable team in the early going and took advantage of it as they built a 10-point lead.
Irving was especially active, both scoring and distributing. At one point early in the first quarter he received an outlet pass on a fast break and delivered a pass off the backboard to Gee, who dunked it easily.
When they did get into the game, the Magic's new arrivals brought in instant energy, though, helping to stunt Cleveland's early momentum.
It was tied at the half, thanks to balanced scoring on both sides. Orlando had eight players with at least six points in the opening 24 minutes, while Gee was the only player on either team to reach double figures in the half, scoring 10 points.
Notes: Cleveland F Omri Casspi wasn't with the team after being taken to an Orlando hospital on Saturday afternoon complaining of acute stomach pain. G Daniel Gibson was also inactive because of what the team said were personal reasons. ... The Magic are now 5-21 this season when their opponent scores at least 100 points.
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