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Cavaliers 119, Magic 98: Hot-shooting Cleveland throttles Orlando

Cleveland scored 70 first-half points en route to its big win over Orlando on Wednesday.

Nik Vučević and Dion Waiters
Nik Vučević and Dion Waiters
David Manning - USA Today Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers made quick work of the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, building a 23-point halftime lead as they went on to win by a 119-98 final. Orlando surrendered 70 points in the first half, establishing a new record for points allowed in any half of any game in the 2013/14 season, as four Cavaliers reached double-figures.

For the game, Dion Waiters led Cleveland with 26 points. Spencer Hawes added 20 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving finished with a ho-hum 17 points, but shot 7-of-8 from the floor and also contributed six rebounds and eight assists. Tristan Thompson tallied a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double.

Victor Oladipo served as one of Orlando's few standouts, contributing 16 points and four assists off the bench. Doron Lamb and Tobias Harris, his fellow reserves, added 14 and 11 points, respectively. Lamb's output represents a season-best.

Harkless got off to a hot start, making each of his first two shots for five points and giving Orlando a 9-4 lead after less than three minutes.

That five-point lead would stand as the Magic's largest of the night.

A pair of Thompson foul shots at the 6:46 mark of the period gave Cleveland a lead it would never relinquish. The third-year big man got off to an auspicious start, scoring 10 points and grabbing four rebounds in the first period. He and the rest of the Cavaliers tore up Orlando's interior defense to the tune of 38 paint points on 19-of-26 shooting in the first half alone.

But the Cavaliers had it going from everywhere; Hawes tallied four of their five first-half treys, and the team went 13-of-14 from the foul line before intermission. Orlando couldn't take anything away from its opponent Wednesday, resembling more the team that's won just four times on the road than the one that entered the night just two games below .500 at home.

The cruel joke of it all was that Orlando's offense played reasonably well despite trailing big: it shot 45 percent from the floor and recorded 14 assists on its 18 baskets. The biggest issue was turnovers, with Lamb standing out in that regard: in eight first-half minutes, he committed four miscues, including two occasions during which he stepped on the sideline while attempting to drive from the corners. The Magic's 11 turnovers led to 16 Cavaliers points.

The Cavs pushed their lead to as much as 27 points in the third quarter, but the Magic made a spirited rally by stringing together their first competent four-plus minutes of the night: Arron Afflalo capped a 13-3 run with a three-pointer to bring the Magic to within 17 points at the 4:1 mark of the period, prompting Cavs coach Mike Brown to call for time.

Orlando managed just three more points the rest of the period as Cleveland extended its lead back to 26. Thompson played a big role in that strong run to close the quarter, tallying six points, a steal, and a blocked shot in the final 1:43 alone.

With the game well out of reach, Magic coach Jacque Vaughn elected to rest his starting unit for the entire fourth quarter. The reserves, behind Lamb and Oladipo, managed to make the score a bit more respectable; that they faced a Cleveland lineup heavy on starters makes what they accomplished more remarkable. Though they looked decent offensively and got good shot attempts, the reserves could not contain the Cavs' offense. Cleveland shot 71.4 percent in the fourth quarter to raise its field-goal percentage for the game to 57.7 percent.