Hill returns to lead Orlando past Cavs
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.
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.
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
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