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Cavs lock down perimeter to fend off Orlando
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Although their star point guard had trouble finding his touch, the Cleveland Cavaliers managed to start their first winning streak since late February as they defeated the Orlando Magic, 91-85, at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavaliers managed to walk away with the win despite a poor shooting performance by Kyrie Irving, who went 3-of-15 from the floor to net nine points.
"This is the worst shooting slump in my short career," said Irving. "I'm not really worried about that. I'm going to do everything I need to do to get the win. I'll fight for these guys and obviously my shot is not going to fall every night, its the law of averages. As long as I can contribute on the defensive end, that's my job.
Irving did manage to deal out a game-high 10 assists while Tristan Thompson registered a double-double for the second-straight game with 15 points and 16 boards.
Alonzo Gee scored a team-high 19 points for Cleveland, which was coming off of a 97-91 victory over Boston.
The loss was the fifth in a row and 12th in 13 games for Orlando, which was concluding a five-game road swing. It will return home for a three-game homestand. The Magic are now tied with the Bobcats for most losses in the NBA at 59. Orlando went 1-of-13 from beyond the arc in the contest.
Nikola Vucevic was sensational in the setback as he produced his third 20- plus rebound game of the season by tallying 21 points and the same number of boards. Tobias Harris also generated a double-double with 26 points and 12 boards. Outside of Vucevic and Harris, the Magic shot a collective 13-of-51 from the field.
Vucevic posted 13 points and 14 rebounds in the opening half to help the visitors claim a 48-44 halftime lead.
The Cavaliers went ice cold after the break, making good on just 6-of-20 from the field in the third quarter, but they held Orlando without a make from 3- point range in the period to keep the deficit at four points heading into the final frame.
The Magic converted only 25 percent of their field goal tries in the fourth quarter and dealt out just one assist to three turnovers.
"Defensively we were pretty much all over the place," said Cleveland head coach Byron Scott. "In the fourth quarter we just buckled down. Guys were really energized at that time to just close the game out. We got some big time plays from a couple guys."
Livingston tied the score at 70 with 8:45 left as he sank a pair of free- throws during the midst of a 10-0 run that gave the Cavaliers the lead for good. The Cavaliers held a 17-12 edge in the rebounding battle over the final 12 minutes.
C.J. Miles exited the game after an elbow caused a gash in his forehead and did not return after receiving six stitches, he had eight points in six minutes before departing...Livingston finished with 12 points and six assists for the Cavaliers...Jameer Nelson sat out for the fifth-straight game with an ankle injury.
04/07 23:11:23 ET