NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Orlando
(Saturday, December 16th)
Final Score: Orlando 81, Cleveland 74
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Grant Hill returned form a one-game absence to post 21 points and six rebounds, leading Orlando to a strong defensive effort in an 81-74 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Dwight Howard added 14 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Magic, who limited the Cavs to eight second-quarter points, on the way to snapping a three-game skid.
Hill, who missed Thursday's loss at Charlotte due to knee tendinitis, ended 9-of-16 from the field.
"This is certainly a win that we needed after three straight losses, three straight losses at home," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "I was extremely proud of the way our guys finished after the start we got off to. We weren't real good at the start of the game; I'll leave it at that. But they showed me a lot by keeping their composure and chipping away and I thought we got a great defensive effort tonight from everybody, collectively as a team."
LeBron James had 29 points for Cleveland, which has lost three straight road games. Drew Gooden ended with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs, who had a two-game overall win streak broken. Larry Hughes also had 14 points.
"I think we kind of press too much (on the road) whereas at home we just play," James said. "On the road we just press too hard and try not to make a mistake. We have to go out and let loose."
It looked bleak early for the Magic, who fell behind 17-4 with 4:06 left in the first following a James fallaway jumper. It was 23-12 after the opening period, but things changed drastically in the second.
Orlando outscored the Cavs, 26-8, in the quarter before halftime. Howard's jam ended a string of 10 consecutive Orlando points to open the second quarter.
James' layup extended Cleveland's lead to 28-22 with 6:54 remaining in the half, but the Magic put in the next nine points. That included a rare four- point play by J.J. Redick, who banged in a three and then converted a free throw with 6:09 left to level the score at 28. Travis Diener's shot from beyond the arc capped the run.
Howard's alley-oop jam off an assist from Trevor Ariza extended Orlando's lead to 38-30 with 1:54 left in the half.
James then hit a free throw to represent the final point of the half.
Orlando led the entire third quarter and were in front 58-51 going into the fourth.
The Cavs were within 58-56 early in the fourth, but Cleveland could never go ahead again. Howard's two free throws made it 64-56 with 7:28 left, and Orlando stretched to a double-digit margin down the stretch.
Darko Milicic had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Magic, who also got 11 points apiece from Diener and Keyon Dooling...Cleveland made 36 percent of its shots from the field...Orlando led in bench points, 40-8...The Magic have won 10 of their last 13 at home versus Cleveland...The Cavs fell to 3-7 on the road.
12/17 00:52:39 ET