Orlando wins series 4-2 (Game 5 of 6)

Orlando wins series 4-2

Game 1: Wednesday, May 20th
Game 2: Friday, May 22nd
Game 3: Sunday, May 24th
Game 4: Tuesday, May 26th
Game 5: Thursday, May 28th
Game 6: Saturday, May 30th

Magic 102

(59-23, 27-14 away)

Cavaliers 112

(66-16, 39-2 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    8:30 PM ET, May 28, 2009

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 18 37 24 23102
    CLE 35 21 22 34112

    Top Performers

    Orl: H. Turkoglu 29 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Cle: L. James 37 Pts, 14 Reb, 12 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Williams pitches in 24 as LeBron, Cavs send series back to Orlando

    Associated Press

    CLEVELAND -- The message was quickly scribbled on the dry-erase board in Cleveland's locker room. It said little and said it all: 1:00 AM FLY.

    The Cavaliers are heading back to Florida, their wondrous season still alive.

    2009 NBA Playoffs

    Want an in-depth look at the Cavs-Magic series? Check out all the stats, analysis and opinion here:

    • Cavs-Magic page

    LeBron James wouldn't let it end.

    James, showing off every dimension of his unstoppable game, had 37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists, and Mo Williams, who boldly predicted the Cavs would come back and win this tight-as-can-be series, added 24 points in a 112-102 victory over the Orlando Magic in Game 5 on Thursday night.

    "It was win or go home," James said.

    Instead, it's back to amped-up Amway Arena for Game 6 on Saturday night.

    Triple Threat

    LeBron James recorded his fourth career playoff triple-double on Thursday, tying him with Tim Duncan for second-most such games among active players. The Mavs' Jason Kidd heads the list with 11.

    Player Total Games
    Jason Kidd 11 115
    LeBron James 4 59
    Tim Duncan 4 160
    Rajon Rondo 3 40
    Kevin Garnett 3 73

    You expected anything else?

    The Magic overcame a 22-point deficit but missed their first opportunity to close out the Cavaliers, who are trying to become just the ninth team since 1947 to rally and win a series after being down 3-1. Orlando will have two more tries to reach the NBA finals for the first time since 1995.

    "They deserved to get this one," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said of the Cavs. "As poorly as I thought we played, we still were there with chances to win and didn't get it done. We have to get ready to go on Saturday."

    For Cleveland, a city banking on James to deliver a championship after a 45-year drought, the MVP was again in a league of his own.

    "His intensity and his passion are out of this world," Cavs guard Daniel Gibson said. "We will follow him. When he gets it going, there is nothing you can do."

    James scored 21 points in the second half -- 17 in the fourth quarter -- and had a hand in Cleveland's first 29 points in the final 12 minutes. The last player to post at least 37-14-12 in a playoff game was Oscar Robertson in 1963.

    Hedo Turkoglu scored 29 for Orlando, and Dwight Howard had 24 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out with 2:22 remaining while trying to stop James on a drive.

    Not even Superman was denying James.

    "I was attacking anyone in the way, no matter who it was," James said. "There's always a sense of urgency when you are on the brink of elimination."

    And this time James got plenty of help. Williams, his trusty sidekick all season but a near no-show in this series, made six 3-pointers. Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 16 points, Delonte West 13 and Gibson made two huge 3-pointers in the fourth quarter -- both on assists from James.

    Mo' Better Williams

    LeBron James finally got a worthy sidekick in Game 5. Mo Williams shot 22.2 percent from 3-point land and 33.3 percent on jumpers in the first four games of the series, but the '09 All-Star turned things around on Thursday.

    1st 4 games Thursday
    Jumpers 21-63 6-12
    3-point FG 6-27 6-9
    Points 17.3 24

    "He got his teammates involved and then took over," Orlando's Mickael Pietrus said. "That's what great players do."

    The Magic have twice ended series on the road this postseason, winning a Game 6 in Philadelphia and a Game 7 in Boston. For a while it looked like Orlando might do it again, taking a 79-78 lead into the fourth quarter.

    James, though, had other plans.

    He picked up his first assist of the period on 3-pointer by Williams and his second on a 3 by Gibson. Cleveland then turned to its superstar every time on offense, spreading the floor and forcing the Magic to defend him. If he wasn't backing down the lane, he was getting to the line or setting his teammates up from the perimeter.

    James also had four rebounds and four assists in the final quarter.

    "The game is basically all LeBron, all the time," Van Gundy said. "If he gets in the paint, it's automatically a foul. One of the things we have to do, we can't keep putting him on the line 20 times a game. We have to find a way to stop that."

    Down 32-10 with 3:40 left in the first quarter, the Magic started knocking down 3s and outscored the Cavs 45-24 the remainder of the first half.

    The Magic, who made just eight 3s after hitting 17 in Game 4, then opened the third with nine straight points as Turkoglu hit a 3-pointer -- of course -- and Orlando was within 94-93 after Turkoglu made three free throws with 4:46 left. James then whipped a pass to Gibson for a 3 to make it 97-93.

    Orlando missed on its next trip and James dropped a jumper. Pietrus missed the next time down and James was able to foul out Howard, who smiled as he headed to the bench knowing he and his teammates are still in control of the series.


    Williams, who came in shooting just 32 percent from the floor and 22 percent on 3-pointers, set the tone early. He made three 3s in the first 4:38, and the Cavaliers, playing perhaps their best quarter of the entire playoffs, started 10-of-11 from the field while opening a 22-point lead.

    But the never-say-die Magic made it go poof!

    Orlando, which overcame 16- and 23-point deficits, respectively, in Games 1 and 2, whittled away by capitalizing on Cleveland's offensive sloppiness and impatience, and were within 56-55 at halftime.

    Game notes

    West suffered a hip pointer with 3:33 remaining. The Cavaliers said his status will be updated Friday. Cleveland, hoping to host Game 7, improved to 44-3 at home. ... Celebrity row included New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia, rap mogul Jay-Z, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Browns QB Brady Quinn. ... James said playoff pressure doesn't rival playing for an Olympic gold medal. "You're playing for Cleveland and Los Angeles and Denver and every other city in this country," said James. "That was way more pressure than what's going on here." ... Van Gundy was pleased Howard's Game 4 technical was rescinded. It would have been his sixth of the postseason with one more earning him an automatic one-game suspension. "I thought it was a very tough call anyway," said Van Gundy. "He's sort of a marked man right now when it comes to stuff like that."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 102 112
    FGM-FGA 33-72 (.458) 38-76 (.500)
    3PM-3PA 8-25 (.320) 9-18 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 28-41 (.683) 27-34 (.794)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-38 8-39
    Assists 12 21
    Turnovers 12 12
    Steals 11 4
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 12 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (1/0) 25 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 8 22

    Top Performers

    Hedo Turkoglu Turkoglu
    Points: 29
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    LeBron James James
    Points: 37
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1