Magic 108, Cavaliers 104

Jameer Nelson and the Orlando Magic proved they’re still

dangerous from long range if they need a big rally.

Nelson had 22 points, Arron Afflalo scored 19 and the Magic made

11 3-pointers in a 108-104 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on

Friday night.

”It means a great deal to me to get this win,” said Glen

Davis, who had 16 points and eight rebounds. ”We need to get as

much games as possible and try to get back to .500 and compete for

the chance to be somewhere in the postseason.

”And also for our confidence and our young guys to make sure

that they can learn and understand what we have to do to take the

win.”

Davis had 10 points in Orlando’s big fourth quarter. Nelson

finished with six assists for the Magic (5-7), who have won two

straight and continue their five-game homestand Sunday against

Boston.

During the height of the Dwight Howard era, Orlando had a

reputation for shooting lots of 3-pointers in some games. That

changed following the arrival of new coach Jacque Vaughn’s more

motion-based system.

But for one night, at least, this new version of the Magic

showed they still remember how to let the ball fly from deep. The

11 3s were a season high.

”You look down at the stat sheet and the minutes and there’s

numbers all over the place, guys contributing in a lot of different

ways,” Vaughn said. ”Another example of how we can play as a

team, band together, rebound together as much as we can, just

getting it to the open guy (and) just keeping it simple.”

Orlando led the league in made 3-pointers each of the last three

seasons, but was making just over four per game this year.

Dion Waiters scored 25 points for Cleveland, and Anderson

Varejao had 19. The Cavaliers have lost seven of eight and face

Miami on Saturday.

Orlando had 16 turnovers in the first half, but just two after

the break.

”I think that was the biggest difference,” Cleveland coach

Byron Scott said. ”We didn’t get up and pressure them like we did

in the first half. … Again, we allowed another team to shoot a

high percentage tonight, and those guys shot the ball pretty

well.”

The Cavs also outscored the Magic 22-8 in the paint in the first

half, but were outscored 32-18 inside in the final 24 minutes.

Saddled with turnover issues in the first half, the Magic

trailed for most of the game but managed to make their surge by

turning some of the Cavaliers’ miscues into easy points. It was

tied headed to the fourth quarter, and there were eight lead

changes in the final 12 minutes.

Afflalo hit a 3-pointer from the wing with less than two minutes

remaining, giving the Magic a 98-94 lead.

A free throw and tip-in by Tyler Zeller trimmed Orlando’s

advantage to a point, but a driving layup by Nikola Vucevic

restored the Magic’s three-point lead at 100-97 with 32.3 seconds

to play.

J.J. Redick hit eight free throws in the final minute to help

the Magic hold on.

The Magic also were continuing an adjustment period of sorts,

with rookie Maurice Harkless receiving his second straight start at

shooting guard, with Afflalo at small forward.

That experiment looks promising, with the athletic Harkless

looking more comfortable and contributing on both sides of the

floor.

The Cavaliers played their second consecutive game without point

guard Kyrie Irving, who is recovering from a broken bone in his

hand.

Jeremy Pargo, coming off a huge effort in his first start of the

year, had 15 points for Cleveland. But he struggled to contain

Nelson, whose outside shooting spread the floor and opened up

Orlando’s offense.

”It was crazy. They were making tough shots,” Waiters said.

”We contested and played defense and I think we played great

defense. But they made a lot of tough shots, especially down the

stretch.”

Waiters said he even tried to resort to other means to shut down

Redick, who had 18 points.

”I tried talking to him and say everything, but he was just

knocking shots down,” Waiters said. ”I was telling him `Can you

miss?’ I was playing but I was serious, like miss a shot

please.”

Vaughn said he hopes his players take an important lesson from

the win.

”It’s that simple of first recognizing that we’re putting

ourselves in a hole because of the turnovers,” he said. ”It’s

just recognition and then just making the simple and easy play.

That’s it.”

NOTES: The Magic have won eight straight games over the Cavs,

including 18 of the last 23 regular-season matchups. … Davis went

flying into the front row of courtside seats and landed on a fan

while chasing a loose ball late in the fourth quarter. But both he

and the spectator were fine, and Davis was able to return to the

action.

Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at

www.twitter.com/khightower