LeBron expected back tonight
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – The Cleveland Cavaliers hope to have LeBron
James back in the lineup this evening when they welcome the Orlando Magic to
James, who has missed the last three games after spraining his right ankle
during a win over Utah on January 17, made it through a full practice on
Sunday and said he should be ready to go.
The Cavs, who have gone 2-1 in James’ absence, picked up a win on Saturday,
as Eric Williams scored 20 points in a 95-87 triumph over the Philadelphia
76ers. Carlos Boozer scored 15 points and hauled down 15 boards while Dajuan
Wagner added 17 points for Cleveland, which won for the third time in four
In addition to James, forward-center Tony Battie also missed the contest
with a bruised left knee suffered Thursday against Sacramento. He is
questionable for tonight’s affair.
Philadelphia spent the entire fourth quarter trying to chip away at the
Cavaliers’ lead, and eventually got within five at 90-85 with 58.5 seconds
left on a pair of Samuel Dalembert free throws.
But it became a free throw shooting contest from there for the Cavs, who
buried 5-of-6 down the stretch to post the win.
The Cavs, who are two wins shy of their entire win total from last season,
have won four of their last six games at home and are 11-9 in their gym this
Orlando, meanwhile, enters on a losing note after its 99-87 setback to the
Houston Rockets on Sunday. Tracy McGrady posted a team-high 31 points for
the Magic, who lost for the second time in three games.
Tyronn Lue and Gordan Giricek scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Orlando entered the fourth quarter down only seven points, but Steve Francis
buried a jumper and Maurice Taylor converted consecutive layups a minute
into the period to put Houston up 79-69.
The Magic would not get within single-digits the rest of the way and trailed
by as many as 17.
Orlando has dropped nine of its last 10 on the road and is 6-14 away from
home this season.
The Magic defeated the Cavs earlier in the season and has won six straight
in the series and eight of the last nine meetings. Orlando has also won two
straight and six of its last nine in Cleveland.