Cavaliers get 33 from Irving, roll past Magic 123-108
Mar. 16, 2015
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Kyrie Irving got right back to work on Sunday night. The All-Star guard is on quite a tear.
Irving scored 33 points and J.R. Smith had 25, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 123-108 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Irving went 12 for 15 from the field and 4 for 6 from the line in his first game since he scored an NBA-high 57 points in Thursday night's 128-125 overtime victory at San Antonio. He also went 5 for 6 from 3-point range while playing 34 1/2 minutes.
"Someone did ask me, 'What do you do for an encore for that?' I didn't have a good answer," Cleveland coach David Blatt said. "But 12 for 15 from the field, 33 points in 34 minutes, that's a pretty good encore."
LeBron James finished with 21 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have won four straight and six of seven.
Cleveland went 18 for 35 from 3-point range.
"When me and LeBron are attacking downhill like that, it's kind of hard for their big men to stop us in the paint," Irving said. "We wanted to continue to penetrate in the paint and get other guys shots."
The Magic got as close as 112-103 in the fourth quarter, but a jumper by James and 3 by James Jones helped the Cavs close it out.
"When you've got guys shooting like that, all you try to do is get them the ball in the same spot and just let them catch and shoot," James said.
Victor Oladipo led the Magic with 25 points. Tobias Harris scored 24, and Nik Vucevic finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
Orlando has lost four straight.
Cleveland blew the game open in the second quarter, outscoring Orlando 40-27. Irving then had 16 points in the third, including two of the Cavaliers' six 3-pointers in the period.
"This is one of those teams that if you're not perfect, if they are not having off night, it's going to be a very difficult game," Magic coach James Borrego said.
The Magic controlled the tempo to open the game, before allowing Cleveland to take its first lead of the night during an 11-0 spurt in second quarter.
Irving had a solid second period as well, going 4 for 4 from the field, and scoring nine points. James helped facilitate a lot of offense, handing out five assists.
"It was just err on the side of aggression — that's my mind set," Irving said. "My teammates do great job of feeding me confidence and instilling that trust in me."
Cavaliers: James posted his 18th double-double of the season. ... James has scored in double figures in 628 consecutive games for the third-longest streak in NBA history. ... Cleveland shot 62 percent in the first half after starting the game 1 for 6 from the field.
Magic: Orlando dropped to 6-28 when its opponent scores 100 or more points. ... G Evan Fournier (hip), G/F Willie Green (low back spasms), and G Devyn Marble (eye) all sat out.
James appeared to hyperextend his right knee while falling back on a jumper in the third quarter. He was able to finish the game, but called it "a scary moment."
"I couldn't get my foot from underneath me and I was able to play through it obviously and see how I feel tomorrow and go from there," he said. "I haven't had one of those falls in (forever), in a pretty long time. ... I was happy to be able to stay on the floor with my teammates."
Despite a second half during which the Cavaliers' field-goal percentage hovered above 60 percent, Borrego said he still believes the Magic are a defensive-minded team.
"Tonight was not a great defensive effort. It was probably due to Cleveland and partly our effort, our execution defensively," he said. "But we are a defensive team, and I'll continue to say that. Our identity is on the defensive end."
The Magic have given up an average of 108 points per game during their skid.
Cavaliers: At Miami on Monday.
Magic: At Houston on Tuesday.
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