Magic take on Cavs in central Florida

10:55 AM, Feb 3, 2012   |    comments
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The Orlando Magic try to string back-to-back wins together this evening when they welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to town to wrap up a brief two-game homestand at Amway Center.

Orlando snapped its season-high four-game losing streak on Wednesday, as Dwight Howard posted 23 points and 18 rebounds to help the Magic to a 109-103 victory versus Washington. Ryan Anderson also scored 23 while J.J. Redick dropped in 21 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Magic, who won for only the second time in their last seven tries.

"We just wanted to come in and focus on getting a win," said Anderson. "It was a frustrating stretch of games, but we knew we had it in us to come back and get wins and tonight is a streak we want to start."

The 109 points were a good sign for a Magic club that had averaged a mere 76.0 points during the slide, while shooting just 39.4 percent. The offense has been hurt by the absence of point guard Jameer Nelson, who hasn't played since Jan. 27 because of a concussion.

"I think we need to look to the next game and bring the same effort and energy," said Anderson, who buried six three-pointers in Wednesday's win. "We didn't want to focus too much on that streak because that's a week we'd all like to forget. Those games we'd all like to forget about and we can move forward and get a win next game and just start a little run.

"This started our confidence, but we need to follow through with it."

Cleveland, meanwhile, comes into tonight's contest on the heels of a narrow 93-90 loss to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. The Cavs had beaten the Celtics on Sunday, but couldn't overcome a 22-point deficit that they cut to two with a minute remaining.

"We just couldn't finish it off," said rookie point guard Kyrie Irving. "They gave us their best shot and it came down to the final minutes. We've just got to keep our energy up for 48 minutes."

Anderson Varejao had 20 points and 20 rebounds -- 10 offensive -- but missed a pair of shots in the final minute. Irving had 13 of his 21 points in the final stanza, including an inconsequential three-pointer as time expired.

"They played so hard tonight, it was great to see," Cavs coach Byron Scott said of his team. "We just have to continue to play that hard."

Orlando has won six straight overall over the Cavs and eight of its last 10 in its building against them.

 

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