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Cavaliers 116, Magic 104: Marla's 26 shots from Beyond the Arc on Love's return, Frye's elbow

By Marla Ridenour Published: March 12, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers' 116-104 victory over the Orlando Magic in Amway Center.

1. So as not to bury the lead (if there is a lead in this format), some quick nuggets from the "In case you were wondering" department.

2. When is Kevin Love coming back from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee? "Very soon," LeBron James said.

3. How badly was J.R. Smith's right thumb fractured? He said it needed a plate and eight screws to repair.

4. How did Channing Frye fix his 3-point shot? By looking at video on and seeing his elbow was out. That revelation came before the last five games, when Frye has 14 of 25 from beyond the arc.

5. "It just wasn’t feeling right and the spin on the ball was wrong," Frye said. "I just tried to get my elbow in and make sure I’m jumping straight up and down. Basketball is a very simple game and sometimes you overcomplicate it. I actually was looking at and I was like, ‘Duh, why is my elbow out?’ I got it in and I’m like, ‘That’s it? OK, cool.’"

6. Perhaps beating the Magic for the 16th consecutive time could cause some (including me) to over-reach for conclusions. But there still was a sense that the Cavs are finally learning how to play together, finally exerting more energy on defense, finally taking advantage of a great pick-and-roll point guard in Deron Williams with the second unit. And to think that there's still Love and perhaps a rim protector signing in the coming days to add to the mix, along with the return of Kyle Korver, who sat out his second consecutive game with a sore tendon in his left foot.

7. Stealing the headlines was LeBron James' ninth triple-double of the season and second in two games, giving him 51 for his career. On a night when seven Cavs scored in double figures and the Cavs totaled 30 assists, James put up a line of 24-12-13 in 37 minutes. That comes on the heels of a 29-13-10 night in Detroit Thursday.

8. Asked about James' efficiency in the past two games, Frye said, "I think it’s underrated. I think people are just bored with greatness. It’s pretty ridiculous. The guy plays three or four positions for us. He’s being unselfish, getting us into our offense, he’s defending very well and shooting the 3 solid. You notice he’s running our offense along with D-Will and Ky and that’s huge for us. You talk about a lot of other guys getting triple-doubles. I just think you look at what he’s doing and how he’s doing it. It’s not just one guy scoring, we had how many guys in double digits today?"

9. Told it was seven, Frye added, "It’s crazy to get triple-doubles like that. We’ll see what happens when Kevin gets back, he might steal a couple boards. He’s doing a lot for us. As much as (James) gets attacked, I think people need to respect what he’s doing for us in helping us win."

10. Williams showed what he could do with the second unit in the second quarter as the Cavs outscored the Magic 35-26 to take a 59-51 halftime lead.

11. Signed on Feb. 27, Williams said he finally got his legs under him after being off the court for 21/2 weeks around the All-Star break.

12. "It was pretty difficult coming back from All-Star break, thinking you’re going to have a couple practices and a couple games, then finding out you’re not going to have a couple practices and a couple games," Williams said. "And then having to pack up and leave and come across the country and really not practice and start playing games. I played 24 minutes that first night, then right into a back-to-back. It took some time to adjust and get my legs under me."

13. Williams said he's back in top condition now. "Idefinitely feel a lot better just playing and getting some treatment and things like that have helped my body feel a lot better in the last couple games," he said.

14. Before Williams arrived, the Cavs had a big second unit with James, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, Derrick Williams and Kyle Korver. But the Cavs now see the possibilities of what Deron Williams can bring.

15. "He just gives us a steady leadership off the bench. He gives us playmaking ability. A guy who can run a team and that’s perfect," James said.

16. "He’s a pass-first point guard, but he’s a point guard that can also score," Smith said. "That’s probably the most dangerous player you could have. You can come off the screen, if you don’t play him the way you’re supposed to he can try and score. And if you try and be aggressive with him, he’s such a proven passer, so he can help a lot. He makes off the dribble shots, he makes spot-up shots. He's a great addition to our team."

17. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue liked what he saw from Deron Williams, who scored 10 points on 4 of 9 shooting, 2 of 4 from 3-point range, along with handing out four assists. His plus-minus was plus-10, tied with Frye and Richard Jefferson for third-highest on the team. James was plus-12, Kyrie Irving plus-11.

18. "He was great. Starting to get his legs," Lue said of Deron Williams. "His passes are right on time every single time when to make the pass, the right pass, the right play. That’s just who he is. Now starting to shoot the basketball well, taking his shots and he’s coming along really well."

19. Deron Williams can also envision how good he and James can be on the pick-and-roll.

20. "Really good. He’s one of the best finishers in the game, to ever play the game," Deron Williams said of James. "He’s so smart in those situations. Me being a pick-and-roll point guard, it’s definitely going to be a great combination."

21. Lue didn't gush over everything the Cavs did. The Magic's Nikola Vucevic, back after missing three games with a sore Achilles, totaled 20 points and 16 rebounds in 27 minutes.

22. "Defensively we were good in spurts. Held them to only four 3-point shots, we’ve been giving up a lot of 3s lately," Lue said. The Magic made only 4 of 21 from 3-point range. "We did a good job of trying to close out, run them off the line and then try to trap the box. We did that a few times. That was good. Then offensively just sharing the basketball, moving the basketball playing with pace, having 30 assists was big."

23. As for the big picture as the Cavs snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 2-4 in March, Lue said, "It’s a big win coming off what we’ve been going through the last few games."

24. Smith knows patience will be key, especially when Love and Korver return, along with the possible addition of another big.

25. "But at the same time, we have to have a sense of urgency as well, the guys who are playing," Smith said. "Let the coaches figure out the rotation when everybody gets back or whatever else, but it’s time to start playing basketball that way it’s supposed to be played, the way we know how to play. You want to be patient because like you said the guys are out, but at the same time the ball don’t stop. It keeps bouncing."

26. James played 37 minutes, Irving 35 as the Cavs flew to Houston for the second night of a back-to-back Sunday. Lue was non-committal on whether they would be rested. Check back then.

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