LeBron's huge 4th quarter sinks Magic
DHoward led the Magic with 17 pts 13 rebs. GHill added 15 pts, with 5 pts coming in the final seconds to make the game a little closer than it would have been. TAriza 13 pts; KDooling off the bench with 11 pts; and CArroyo with 10 pts 5 asts. Tough nights for DMilicic (0 pts) and TDiener (3 pts) who combined to score 3 pts. Poor game from JNelson (5 pts on 1 of 8 shooting). LeBron got help from Zydrunas Ilgauskas with a season-high 22 pts 10 rebs, and former Magic F Drew Gooden with 14 pts 12 rebs.
CLE (34 of 85, 40%) outscored the Magic (30 of 69, 43.5%) from the field 70-63. CLE was 2 of 9 from 3 pt range, while the Magic were 3 of 8. The Magic (20 of 27) had the edge at the FT line (CLE 16 of 29). CLE dominated the boards 51-39, including 23-10 on the offensive boards. Both teams had a similar AST/TO ratio, 17-16 for CLE and 18-16 for the Magic. The Magic bench outscored the CLE bench 29-12.
The Magic are now only 1 1/2 games ahead of the surging Wizards and 3 1/2 games ahead of MIA in the SE, and are 1 1/2 games behind DET for the best record in the conference with CLE and CHI right there with the Magic. The team has now lost 8 of its last 12 games. The Magic get 3 days off for Christmas break, then host Kobe and the Lakers WED night.