Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 2/1

Game 1: Tuesday, February 1st
Game 2: Saturday, February 5th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 8th
Game 4: Monday, April 11th

Magic 92

(25-22, 9-17 away)

Cavaliers 101

(27-19, 17-4 home)

7:30 PM ET, February 5, 2005

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

1 2 3 4 T
ORL 25 26 19 2292
CLE 26 24 27 24101

Top Performers

Orlando: T. Battie 14 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Cleveland: L. James 30 Pts, 6 Reb, 9 Ast, 2 Stl

James scores 30; Ilgauskas clutch down the stretch

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Before leaving the court, LeBron James grabbed a microphone and politely asked the sellout crowd in Gund Arena to wish his mother a happy birthday.

A few moments earlier, he helped blow out the Orlando Magic's candles.

James had 30 points and nine assists and Zydrunas Ilgauskas made two big baskets in the final 1:43 as the Cleveland Cavaliers began an important stretch at home with a 101-92 over Orlando on Saturday night.

Taking over when his team needed him, James had 18 points, six assists and four rebounds in the second half to help the Cavaliers avenge a three-point loss Tuesday night in Orlando.

Cleveland (27-19), which will play its next four games at Gund Arena, improved to 17-4 at home.

"This was huge," James said. "We're on a pace to win 50-some games, our goal is to get to 30 before the All-Star break."

James made 12 of 13 free throws, missing his only attempt with 23 seconds left and the game already decided. He came in just 19-of-29 in his previous three games from the line.

After trailing by 11 points in the fourth, Orlando closed to 92-89 on rookie Dwight Howard's free throw with 2:06 left. But Ilgauskas, playing with five fouls, tipped in his own miss, and after Sasha Pavlovic stole the ball from Grant Hill, Ilgauskas dropped a 6-foot fadeaway to make it 96-89 with 1:06 remaining.

"Ilgauskas is tough," said Orlando's Tony Battie, who played with Cleveland last season. "It's only a matter of time that he gets his, and he came up big at the end."

Drew Gooden added 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Jeff McInnis had 17 points as the Cavs averted their second three-game losing streak this season.

Steve Francis, who had 30 points and 13 assists in the Magic's win over Cleveland, had just 15 on 5-of-12 shooting. Hill had 17 points, but just two in the fourth quarter when the Magic tried to rally.

"We had the momentum in the first half and then they just came out and took it to us," said Hill. "They outplayed us, outhustled us."

Francis was hounded all night by the Cavs, who made sure they didn't allow him any easy baskets.

"We trapped him wherever he got it, so he just couldn't pick us apart," Cavs coach Paul Silas said.

Francis added nine assists but was disappointed that he couldn't do more to help the Magic bounce back from a 112-100 loss in Boston on Friday.

"We didn't play particularly well," he said. "More than that, we didn't stick to what we do best. That's the second night in a row that has happened."

James, selected an All-Star starter earlier in the week, has scored more than 25 points in six straight games and is averaging 29.6 in three games since sitting out two with a sprained left ankle.

After a quiet second quarter, James picked it up in the third, scoring eight points and adding five assists and two rebounds to help the Cavaliers carry a 77-70 lead into the fourth. Gooden also had eight points in the period.

Battie started 7-of-8 from the floor and scored 14 points -- two under his season-high -- as the Magic took a 51-50 halftime lead. But the 6-foot-11 forward didn't score in the second half.

Game notes

James has nine games of 30 points or more. ... The Cavs outscored the Magic 22-4 inside during the second half. ... Cavs starting F Ira Newble ran on his injured Achilles on Saturday and could be back on Tuesday against Toronto. ... Referee Bill Kennedy needed a few moments to catch his breath after McInnis accidentally kicked the ball and hit him in a sensitive spot. "Better him than me," official Bob Delaney said of his hunched over colleague. ... Magic coach Johnny Davis said Hill's selection to the All-Star team is a fitting tribute to the forward's persistence in his comeback from injury. "It's a tremendous honor," he said. "There's no better example of what the NBA is all about. He plays at a very high level and is such a quality person. For him to achieve the way he has after missing four years is simply incredible." ... Gloria James blushed when her son had the crowd count to three and yell, "Happy Birthday, Gloria."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 92 101
FGM-FGA 37-75 (.493) 35-82 (.427)
3PM-3PA 4-11 (.364) 3-14 (.214)
FTM-FTA 14-23 (.609) 28-31 (.903)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-39 16-44
Assists 27 23
Turnovers 20 17
Steals 7 11
Blocks 4 0
Fast Break Points 13 12
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (2/0) 22 (1/0)
Largest Lead 6 12

Top Performers

Tony Battie Battie
Points: 14
Reb: 10
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
LeBron James James
Points: 30
Reb: 6
Ast: 9
Stl: 2
Blk: 0