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(Wednesday, April 2nd)
Final Score: Cleveland 119, Orlando 98
Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyrie Irving returned from an eight-game absence and scored 17 points to go with eight assists and six rebounds to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 119-98 drubbing of the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
Irving suffered a biceps injury in Cleveland's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on March 16.
"I felt good. I was just really excited to be back out there with my teammates. We just had a great rhythm," said Irving. "I wasn't trying to force it I just tried to let the game come to me and play off my teammates the best I can."
Dion Waiters poured in a game-high 26 points while Spencer Hawes and Tristan Thompson donated 20 points apiece for the Cavaliers, who sit two games behind the Hawks and Knicks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks fell to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
Victor Oladipo scored 16 points, Doron Lamb added 14 and Tobias Harris finished with 11 for the Magic, who have dropped two straight.
"I think everyone, at the end of the day, hopefully when you go to work you take pride in what you do," said Magic coach Jacque Vaughn. "I know in our locker room they do take pride in what they do. They work extremely hard every day, but some days it is just not your day."
Cleveland jumped out to a 35-27 lead after 12 minutes. Orlando led 11-8 after a Kyle O'Quinn layup just under four minutes into the game. Waiters then buried a jumper that sparked a 21-7 run to put the Cavs up 29-18. Cleveland was 7-of-10 from the field over that stretch.
The Magic pulled within seven, 49-42, following an Oladipo 3-pointer, but the Cavs closed the half on a 21-5 burst to take a 70-47 lead into the break. Cleveland was 7-of-11 from the field on the quarter-closing surge.
The Cavs lead swelled to 27 in the third, and Cleveland never saw its lead dip below 17 the rest of the way.
Mike Brown moved within one win of tying Bill Fitch (304) for second place on the Cavs' all-time wins list. Lenny Wilkins holds the record with 316 wins ... Cleveland has won seven straight over the Magic ... Orlando was swept in a season series by the Cavs for the first time since 1990-91.
04/03 03:20:00 ET