Magic: Jameer Nelson, Keith Bogans, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard Cavs: Daniel Gibson, Larry Hughes, LeBron James, Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Officials: Tom Washington, Leon Wood, Leroy Richardson
--Sasha Pavlovic is back from back spasms. --Not to say the Cavs don't know they are home yet, but they are wearing their road uniforms tonight and nobody seems to know why. --Just to clear this up, LeBron before the game on Stephon Marbury: "I couldn't have a guy like that on my team." Somehow, I don't think he's alone in that thinking. --The Cavs of course have nobody to defend Dwight Howard, but look for Dwayne Jones to go out there and foul him a bunch tonight. Then again, the Magic have no one to defend LeBron. --Big matchup will be how the Cavs handle Rashard Lewis, who is playing power forward right now for Orlando. We'll see how Gooden handles him, but he plays on the perimeter a lot so it wouldn't be shocking to me to see Ira Newble out there on him for stretches. The resurgent Ira Newble, that is.
Halftime -- Cavs 56, Magic 55 --This has been a well played and enjoyable game. Surprising considering one time is coming off a back-to-back and the other is just in from the coast. --It seems to me that the Magic could score at will on the Cavs if they wanted to the way the home team is playing defense tonight. They have 16 assists on 22 baskets and Jameer Nelson and Carlos Arroyo have no problem getting into the lane. Folks, Bobbie Gibson is just not a good defender right now. Plus Dwight Howard is on pace for an eight-dunk night. However, they insist on shooting all those 3s. They are 4-of-14 on 3s, yet have still shot 52 percent. What does that tell you? If the Cavs don't pick up the defense, it will be a loss. --The Cavs drive-and-kick offense has been excellent tonight, though. They have 13 assists on 21 baskets. LeBron has been great with 14 points and 7 assists. --Guess I was wrong about Newble playing. --Four of the Cavs starters have at least 10 points...Larry Hughes is 0-of-5. --Gibson has 13 points on 4 official shots. The guy is amazing in that regard.
Postgame -- Magic 117, Cavs 116 OT Stars LeBron James, 39 points, 13 rebounds, 14 assists, two blocks Dwight Howard, 35 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks Jameer Nelson, 21 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds
--According to my view and the play-by-play, the Magic had a foul to give in the final seconds. They committed just one foul in the final two minutes, but it was an offensive foul with 1:18 left. That's not a team foul. So had Leon Wood called a slap and not a jump, there would've been no free throws. At least from what I can tell. Maybe I'm wrong. Considering it is LeBron James, he probably should get that call. I don't think the officials wanted to call anything, but they had to. --Last week they were fortunate on a foul with Kevin Martin, tonight they didn't get the call. That's the way it works in the NBA. --Some guy threw something at the officials as they were leaving the floor. A few moments later there was a guy in handcuffs -- still holding two LeBron bobbleheads, which was pretty impressive -- not a great scene. --Ultimately, if you are the Cavs you cannot give up 108 points in regulation and win. Now, the Magic have a great offensive style. Howard is unguardable, Nelson and Arroyo are too quick for any of the Cavs guards, and when the Cavs help inside on drives or Howard the Magic have 3-point shooters everywhere. They have a chance to be a great team. 31 assists in 40 baskets for Orlando. Part of it is fantastic offensive basketball. But the Cavs are ranked 25th in field goal defense in the NBA, last year they were in the top seven or eight all year. That is where they must improve. --Great play call to get Dwight Howard the ball on Orlando's last possession. Plus he made the free throws. A 62 percent free-throw shooter, he goes 13-of-16 on the night. But he did miss one late in regulation that helped get the Cavs to overtime. --LeBron was off the charts again tonight. Get this, the last time someone had 39 points, 13 points and 14 assists in a game was in 1968 when Wilt Chamberlain did it. Of course, Wilt had 53 points, 32 boards and 14 assists, but still, that's saying something. LeBron is a superstud and he's better than ever right now. Yet it should be alarming that LeBron keeps putting up triple doubles and the Cavs are losing. Even with Drew Gooden and Zydrunas Ilgauskas playing well. That is an issue and it points to the defense, again. --Larry Hughes is 17-of-58 shooting on the season with 14 assists and 10 turnover. The complaints about the structure of the offense aside, those raw numbers say all you need to hear. Obviously, he's simply not getting it done right now. --Mike Brown made a strange decision late in regulation when he subbed Devin Brown for Sasha Pavlovic for an offensive possession. Devin committed a terrible turnover and it led to an easy Orlando basket. Of course Sasha airballed a massive 3-pointer a few moments later, the second airball 3 he's put up in a tight spot over the last week. Sasha is 14-of-50 shooting on the season, by the way. --The Cavs were 19-of-22 at the foul line. Those were some pretty impressive free throws LeBron made to force overtime. --Overall, it was an exciting and well played game. The Cavs have to like how well they are executing on offense and how well they are coming from behind in the fourth quarters, but at the end of the day they are not playing complete ballgames. --Ilgauskas suffered a bruised shin, Hughes hurt his left leg again, and Damon Jones is having back problems. Injury bug is sticking around.
Quotes: Mike Brown: "You hope LeBron James driving to the hole may get something, but I wasn't out there and I didn't have a whistle in my mouth. LeBron did the right thing, he drove the basketball to get a layup for trying to get fouled, the guy is 6-8 and 240 pounds with the speed and athleticism that he has it is almost impossible to stop him without fouling him or without him getting a shot off. Somehow, someway he didn't." LeBron: "I got into the lane, he got some of the ball but he got some of my arm also. Once I felt a little contact, I'm trying to get the shot up. But it didn't go our way. I am not going to harp on it." Stan Van Gundy: "Which call didn't he get? I didn't see too many. You've got to put together the film of calls LeBron doesn't get for me."
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