Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 1/21

Game 1: Tuesday, January 21st
Game 2: Wednesday, January 29th
Game 3: Sunday, March 2nd
Game 4: Friday, March 21st

Magic 103

(22-21, 10-13 away)

Cavaliers 94

(8-35, 5-14 home)

    Coverage: FSOH

    7:00 PM ET, January 21, 2003

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 34 27 26 16103
    CLE 19 29 18 2894

    Top Performers

    Orlando: T. McGrady 35 Pts, 11 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Blk

    Cleveland: Z. Ilgauskas 35 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Blk

    McGrady and Ilgauskas duel, Magic prevail

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Keith Smart watched from a new courtside seat, but saw a very familiar game.

    Tracy McGrady scored 35 points and spoiled Smart's coaching debut with Cleveland, leading the Orlando Magic to a 103-94 win Tuesday night over the Cavaliers.

    McGrady came in as the league's leading scorer at 30 points per game, and had matched that with 6:55 left in the third quarter with a pair of free throws.

    At that point, McGrady had outscored the Cavs' starters 30-29. He had 33 points after three, and Orlando coach Doc Rivers planned to rest his star before the Cavs rallied.

    Cleveland got close with a late run but fell to an NBA-worst 8-35 with its fifth straight loss and first under Smart, who was hired as interim coach on Monday when Cleveland fired John Lucas.

    "I was happy with the guys because they could have said, 'Here we go again', and rolled over,'' Smart said. "But they fought tonight. They didn't give up.''

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas led Cleveland with a career-high 35 points, but the Cavs, who have lost 11 of 13, didn't play much better with Smart calling the shots as they had with Lucas for the first 42 games this season.

    Ricky Davis, Cleveland's leading scorer this season, had just 11 points -- 11 below his average.

    "We're at the bottom of the barrel,'' said Cavs forward Darius Miles. "We can only go up. It takes time. We're a young team. Everyone just needs to calm down and relax.''

    Smart, whose only head coaching experience was in the CBA, admitted having some pregame jitters and felt his team -- the NBA's youngest -- was a little nervous, too.

    "I was ready for this,'' he said. "To practice for just a day and a half, and a walkthrough, they did pretty good.''

    Pat Garrity added 20 points and Jeryl Sasser 14 for Orlando, which was without forwards Grant Hill and Mike Miller, both nursing ankle injuries.

    But as long as McGrady's healthy, the Magic look as if they can compete with anyone.

    McGrady scored 15 points in the first quarter and had 24 at halftime. He added 11 rebounds and six assists in 43 minutes.

    "I wanted to come out right away and let the guys follow my lead,'' McGrady said. "It's something I have to do without Mike and Grant in the lineup. I think I can do it every night.''

    The 6-foot-8 guard did whatever he pleased from the outset against the league's second-worst defensive team. He started 6-of-7 from the floor and had 15 points in the game's first 5:05.

    McGrady cooled off in the second period, but by halftime he had 24 points and the Magic were in control with a 61-48 lead at the break.

    "It was kind of scary,'' Miles said. "I thought he was going to get 50.''

    Rivers said McGrady's quick start was deflating for the Cavs.

    "We were concerned coming in,'' Rivers said. "With the coaching change, we knew we had to jump out early and match their intensity. T-Mac came out and was on fire, which is nice.''

    The Magic opened the third quarter with a 7-0 spurt and then McGrady hit a 13-foot jumper, a layup and two free throws to give Orlando a 22-point lead.

    Darrell Armstrong's 15-foot jumper put the Magic up by 25, and Rivers was comfortable enough to sit McGrady to start the fourth.

    The Cavs closed within 97-88 on rookie Dajuan Wagner's 3-pointer with 5:06 left, but McGrady countered with a basket and the Magic were able to hold Cleveland off.

    "Once they got their emotion back, they were pretty good,'' Rivers said of the Cavs. "They're going to be OK. But it's going to take time.''

    Game notes

    Miller missed his second straight game with a sprained right ankle. ... Smart received congratulatory calls and messages from friends across the country on his new job. One of the calls came from Iowa coach Steve Alford, Smart's backcourt mate on Indiana's 1987 national championship team. "He said some good things,'' Smart said. ... Smart was pleased to see Miles on the floor practicing early on Tuesday. Miles has struggled in his first season with the Cavs. "I think it shows that he wants to try and turn the corner,'' Smart said. Miles finished with eight points. ... Hill did not accompany the team on the trip. He was placed on the injured list last weekend with a sore left ankle. ... Cavs G Smush Parker sprained his ankle in the third quarter and did not return.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 103 94
    FGM-FGA 37-83 (.446) 36-86 (.419)
    3PM-3PA 7-21 (.333) 4-13 (.308)
    FTM-FTA 22-26 (.846) 18-22 (.818)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-41 17-48
    Assists 27 21
    Turnovers 11 15
    Steals 9 7
    Blocks 6 5
    Fast Break Points 9 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 17 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 35
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Zydrunas Ilgauskas Ilgauskas
    Points: 35
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3