Big Fourth Lifts Cavs Past Magic

December 13, 2013
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Kyrie Irving
Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images

Wrap-Up – The Cavaliers’ first quarter performance looked like their last four road games. The Cavaliers’ fourth quarter performance looked like their last three home games, as the Wine and Gold used a 36-point final period to pull past the Magic for the 109-100 win on Friday night in Orlando. The victory was Cleveland’s third straight and fifth in its last six outings.

Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 31 points, going 12-for-24 from the floor to go with five assists and a pair of steals. Kyrie scored ten of his 31 points in the second quarter and 11 in the third. In the fourth, it was Dion Waiters’ turn – and the second-year guard exploded for 16 of his 21 points in the final period. Waiters also had three assists in the fourth, two to Matthew Dellavedova, who canned three-pointers off each and netted all nine of his points in the final 6:33 of the ballgame.

Anderson Varejao doubled-up with 10 points and a game-high 14 boards. He also provided much of the night’s drama. He collided with Victor Oladipo on a screen and looked to injure his right knee. He returned to action and, with the game well-in-hand in the closing seconds, was pushed from behind by Andrew Nicholson, banging his left knee on the baseline. Dion Waiters immediately got in Nicholson’s face, but the fracas broke up before getting out of hand.

Turning Point – Not surprisingly, the game turned around early when Matthew Dellavedova, who Anderson Varejao labeled the team’s “pit bull” entered the game midway through the second quarter. The Cavs had gotten off to another slow start, trailing after one quarter by nine. But Earl Clark, as he has been for the past month, came off the bench hot – canning all three three-pointers he attempted in the second period. Kyrie put the final touches on the second quarter, draining a pair of threes in the final 1:19 to get Cleveland to within a point before intermission.

Game BallDion Waiters – There’s no denying that Waiters brings an edge with him when he checks in off the bench, and Friday night’s win was a perfect example. Waiters was 8-of-18 from the floor, adding four assists and five boards. He had one steal and a big blocked shot of a Jameer Nelson three-point attempt with three minutes remaining. The always-feisty Waiters also raced to Varejao’s defense when Nicholson decked Andy with 10.2 remaining.

By the Numbers60 … bench points for the Wine and Gold on Friday night. The Cavaliers second unit – ranked 5th in the NBA in scoring – outpaced Orlando’s reserves, 60-28, and has now outscored their opponents in 17 of 22 contests.

QuotableDion Waiters, on the scrape at the end of Friday’s game …

”. If anybody else was in that situation I would have done the same thing. It is not about being the toughest guy on the team. It is about having your teammate’s back and sticking up for one another. At the end of the day, we are all we have.”

Up Next – The Cavaliers head south for a rematch with LeBron James and the Heat on Saturday night on South Beach. They return home for a Tuesday night meeting with Damian Lillard, DeMarcus Aldridge and the surprising Blazers at The Q and stay home for a Friday night matchup with the Bucks. It’s another Central Division battle next Saturday night, as the Cavaliers meet the Bulls for the third time this season when they travel to the Windy City.