James’s triple-double leads Cavaliers over Magic, 116-104
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — LeBron James had 24 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers stopped a three-game losing streak with a 116-104 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
Kyrie Irving scored 22 points and Tristan Thompson added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Eastern Conference-leading Cavaliers, who had dropped four of five. The Magic played them close for much of the game, but couldn’t match shots with James and the defending NBA champions down the stretch.
It was James’ career-best ninth triple-double of the season.
Orlando had four players score in double figures, but lost for the fourth time in five games. Nikola Vucevic had a team-high 20 points and 16 rebounds after missing the previous four games with a sore right Achilles.
The Magic put together a 12-2 run to tie it at 63 with 9:43 left in the third. But Richard Jefferson responded with a 3-pointer and J.R. Smith added two big 3s to help Cleveland run back out to an eight-point advantage with James on the bench for much of the quarter.
Smith and Iman Shumpert each made three of Cleveland’s 15 3-pointers in 39 attempts from beyond the arc. The Cavaliers shot 50 percent (43 for 86) from the field overall.
James found his rhythm in the second quarter, collecting six points and six assists while helping Cleveland to a 59-51 lead at the break. The Cavs shot nearly 53 percent from the field while Orlando converted just 38.5 percent from the field during the opening half.
Cavaliers: Kyle Korver missed his second straight game with a sore left foot. He is listed as day to day.
Magic: Aaron Gordon had 16 points, and Evan Fournier finished with 15. Elfrid Payton finished with eight points, 10 rebounds and six assists. …The Magic shot 4 for 21 from beyond the arc.
Cavaliers: Visit the Houston Rockets on Sunday night. The Cavaliers defeated Houston in an early season matchup, but the Rockets have not lost two straight to Cleveland since 2001-02 season.
Magic: Open a three-game West Coast swing at Sacramento on Monday night. The Magic have defeated the Kings in their last two meetings.
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