CLEVELAND: Anderson Varejao tied a franchise record with 25 rebounds and the Cavs beat the Orlando Magic in overtime 87-81 Thursday in their first game this season without Kyrie Irving.
Dion Waiters’ driving layup with 6 tenths left in regulation forced overtime after the Cavs trailed by 7 with 15 seconds left. The win ended their season-long six-game losing streak.
The Magic (3-11 on the road) have struggled winning on the road as badly as the Cavs. That was evident in the final minute of regulation, when they turned it over after failing to get the ball inbounded, fouled Jarrett Jack on a 3-pointer and missed a pair of free throws that allowed Waiters’ game-tying drive.
It was the third consecutive home game to go to overtime and the fourth in their last five. The Cavs are now 4-2 in overtime games this season.
Irving missed the game with an injured left knee and the Cavs’ offense struggled miserably without him. They shot 34 percent for the game and were flirting with setting a season-low in scoring (74 points) before the Magic crumbled in the final minute. Orlando shot 38 percent.
Waiters had 17 points, Varejao had 18 points and Tristan Thompson had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jarrett Jack had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists while starting in place of Irving and referred to the game as an “ugly ass” win during an in-arena interview. At least he’s honest.