Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 12/16

Game 1: Saturday, December 16th
Game 2: Saturday, December 23rd
Game 3: Monday, January 22nd

Cavaliers 74

(14-9, 3-7 away)

Magic 81

(16-10, 9-4 home)

Coverage: NBATV

7:00 PM ET, December 16, 2006

Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

1 2 3 4 T
CLE 23 8 20 2374
ORL 12 26 20 2381

Top Performers

Cleveland: L. James 29 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Blk

Orlando: D. Howard 14 Pts, 16 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 5 Blk

Cavs only muster eight points in third quarter in loss

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Orlando Magic hope to build off their latest win.

The Magic recovered from a 13-point deficit in the first quarter Saturday night to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 81-74 and end a three-game losing streak.

"There are certain games in a season where you can feel the momentum swing for your team and I'm hoping this is one of those for us," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "We beat a first-place team with a couple of our key guys injured and that's got to give the rest of the team a lot of confidence."

The Magic had lost six of their last eight games before beating a Cleveland team that had the best record in the Eastern Conference. Grant Hill scored 21 points to lead Orlando, and Dwight Howard added 14 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks.

"Sometimes you forget how to win and let the kind of adversity we've been going through eat you up," Hill said. "But we've got a reason to feel good about ourselves after this one. We didn't do everything right, but we did win and that's going to change everyone's mood for sure."

Cleveland raced out to a 17-4 lead in the first 8 minutes of the game and held a 23-12 advantage after one period, but the Cavaliers quickly went flat. They hit only three of 16 shots in the second period and just 18-of-57 (32 percent) in the final three quarters.

"I thought Dwight Howard and Darko Milicic really bothered us at the rim," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "We got in the paint a couple of times and normally finish those shots, but we had to change our shot or throw up a shot we're not accustomed to."

LeBron James led Cleveland with 29 points, but was the only effective offensive player the Cavaliers had all night. Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden each scored 14 points, but hit only 11 of 33 shots between them.

The Magic had their own shooting problems -- they started the game 1-for-12 from the field -- but a combination of good defense and strong support from their bench allowed them to come back.

Milicic had 12 points and nine rebounds, Travis Diener had 11 points and four assists and Keyon Dooling added 11 points as the Magic reserves outscored their Cavaliers counterparts 40-8.

"That just shows how deep our team is," Diener said. "We've got some guys hurt who play major minutes so this was a chance for us to provide a spark and do something with the time we're given."

With the loss, Cleveland dropped to just 3-7 on the road this season.

"It's still a little early for me to just say 'Hey, we can't win on the road," Brown said. "But it is something we have to focus on and make sure we're prepared when we go on the road."

Game notes

Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu missed his fifth straight game with an ankle sprain and Jameer Nelson missed his third straight with a groin pull. Both are expected back by Wednesday's game against the Hornets. ... Howard has now led the Magic in rebounding in 25 of 26 games. ... Cleveland had shot 49.4 percent and averaged 101.5 points in its previous four games. ... The four-point play by rookie J.J. Redick was the first for Orlando this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 74 81
FGM-FGA 27-75 (.360) 30-73 (.411)
3PM-3PA 3-13 (.231) 5-10 (.500)
FTM-FTA 17-25 (.680) 16-25 (.640)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-38 14-48
Assists 12 13
Turnovers 17 22
Steals 4 7
Blocks 5 5
Fast Break Points 14 12
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 24 (2/0)
Largest Lead 13 12

Top Performers

LeBron James James
Points: 29
Reb: 5
Ast: 5
Stl: 0
Blk: 1
Dwight Howard Howard
Points: 14
Reb: 16
Ast: 1
Stl: 2
Blk: 5