Cleveland Cavaliers
Cavs clinch playoff berth, sweep Magic behind James and Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs clinch playoff berth, sweep Magic behind James and Irving

Published Mar. 18, 2016 11:08 p.m. ET

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Kyrie Irving scored 26 points and LeBron James had 18, including a layup and pair of free throws down the stretch to help the Cleveland Cavaliers hold off the Orlando Magic 109-103 on Friday night and clinch a playoff spot.

Channing Frye came off the bench to make four 3-pointers and score 14 against his old team as the Cavs beat the Magic for the 14th consecutive time. A rested James returned to the lineup after taking off Wednesday's home victory over Dallas and finished 6-of-15 shooting with eight assists and seven rebounds.

Victor Oladipo had a career-high 45 points for Orlando, but only scored six in the fourth quarter. The last of his six 3-pointers trimmed Cleveland's lead to 107-103 before James made two free throws to put it away.

The Cavs led 63-54 at the half, using a 31-9 run to wipe out an 11-point deficit. Kevin Love delivered two 3-pointers and a dunk during an 11-0 burst that built Cleveland's lead to double digits.


Oladipo scored 24 before halftime and 15 more in the third quarter, when the Magic opened with an 18-7 run to regain the lead and cling to an 86-83 edge going into the fourth.

But in the end, the third-year pro simply didn't get enough offensive help to keep the Cavs from improving the best record in the Eastern Conference to 49-19 with a fifth victory in six games.

Evan Fournier had 18 points for the Magic and Jason Smith added 10.

Love finished with 14 points in 23 minutes. Frye, obtained from Orlando at the trade deadline, made four of six 3-pointers, and Tristan Thompson contributed 11 points and 15 rebounds, 10 of them in the fourth quarter.


Cavaliers: The winning streak over the Magic is their longest against any team since taking 13 straight over the Philadelphia 76ers from 1991 to 1994. ... Shot 50 percent, including 13 of 28 on 3-point attempts. They have made at least 10 3-pointers in eight of their last nine games. ... Held Orlando to 17 points in the fourth quarter.

Magic: Lost the first three games of the season series by an average of 24.7 points. ... Oladipo was 8 of 11 from the field and made all six on his free throws in the opening half. No one else on his team had more than six points in the first two quarters. ... Oladipo is the ninth player in franchise history score 40, first since Aaron Affalo in December 2013. ... G Elfred Payton sat out his fifth consecutive game with a right elbow sprain.


Cavaliers at Miami on Saturday night.

Magic at Toronto on Sunday.


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