Magic 101, Cleveland 86

Here's Mike's game recap. Be sure to click "Full Story" so you won't miss more stats and analysis - BQR

Despite being thoroughly outrebounded by Cleveland and a sub-par offensive game from Dwight Howard, the Magic (48-28, 25-13 road) took over the game in the fourth quarter and dominated as Cleveland (42-35) shot just 4 of 23 (17%) from the field in that final quarter while the Magic made 9 of 15 from the field on their way to outscoring the Cavs 32-14 for a 101-86 victory.

This victory clinched the third seed for the Magic in the East, and was only the second Magic victory in 22 games this season when the Magic trailed after three quarters.  The Magic win the season series from Cleveland 3-1.

The Magic had five players score in double figures, led by Hedo Turkoglu's 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.  Rashard Lewis added 21 points, 16 of which came in the second half.  Jameer Nelson, in his first game back after being accidentally elbowed by Dwight Howard three games ago, scored 16 points, 12 of which came in the first quarter, along with 9 assists and 0 turnovers.  Maurice Evans added 11 points.  Pat Garrity had his best game of the season as he scored 13 points off the bench, 10 of which came in the first half.  Howard struggled scoring just 4 points on 1 of 8 FG shooting, but did grab 12 rebounds.

Cleveland was led by G Delonte West's 19 points, but the main story for the Cavs in this one was the ineffectiveness of LeBron James, as he scored just 17 points on 6 of 22 FG shooting.  He has been bothered by back spasms the last several games, and just could not get going offensively, although he had 9 assists and 7 rebounds.

Some additional game notes:

  • The Magic outshot Cleveland from the field (46.8% to 38.6%), from 3 point range (42.3% to 29.4%) and from the FT line (90% to 61.9%).  The Magic also had a decent assist-to-turnover ratio of 24/11.
  • The Magic were outrebounded 48-33, including 18-6 offensively.
  • The Magic shot just 7 of 20 from the field in the second quarter.
  • Turkoglu and Lewis combined for 44 points on 13 of 24 shooting (including 5 of 8 from 3 point range and 13 of 14 free throws), 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks.
  • The point guards, Nelson and Keyon Dooling, combined for 23 points, 10 assists, and 0 turnovers.
  • Pat Garrity (13 points) nearly outscored LeBron James (17 points).
  • Adonal Foyle (4 pts) scored as many points in 9 minutes as Dwight Howard scored in 39 minutes.
  • The Magic did not shoot their first free throw until there was 2:50 remaining in the second quarter, which was on a Cleveland technical foul, and that was their only attempt in the first half.
  • In the Magic's last 16 victories, 15 of them have been in double digits; the only one that wasn't was a 9 point victory.
  • The Magic are the only NBA team to have more road wins (25) than home wins (23).

Even though it wasn't pretty at times, a nice comeback win for the Magic on the road, beating a team that is still fighting for home court advantage in the first round.  The Magic go right back at it Sunday at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.

Finally, thanks to Ben Q. Rock for asking me to pinch-hit for him; I'll also be recapping the Magic/Knicks game and the Bulls/Magic game.

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