Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/11

Game 1: Wednesday, November 11th
Cavaliers102Final
Magic93
Game 2: Thursday, February 11th
Magic106Final
Cavaliers115
Game 3: Sunday, February 21st
Cavaliers95Final
Magic101
Game 4: Sunday, April 11th
Magic98Final
Cavaliers92

Magic 106

(36-18, 16-13 away)

Cavaliers 115

(43-11, 24-3 home)

Coverage: TNT

8:00 PM ET, February 11, 2010

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

1 2 3 4 T
ORL 23 40 20 23106
CLE 37 29 21 28115

Top Performers

Orlando: D. Howard 19 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

Cleveland: L. James 32 Pts, 8 Reb, 13 Ast, 2 Stl

LeBron leads way as Cavs extend win streak to 13 games

Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- When he arrived in Cleveland, Shaquille O'Neal made it clear there would be no more double-teaming Orlando's Dwight Howard.

He'd handle things himself, as he did Thursday night. Oh, and he wants his cape back.

Shooting Stars

The Cavs fell three games short of the NBA's longest win streak entering the All-Star break. The record (16 straight) was posted by the 1990-91 Los Angeles Lakers.

Longest Win Steaks,
Entering All-Star Break
Year Team Streak
1990-91 Lakers 16
2009-10 Cavaliers 13
1985-86 Celtics 13
1964-65 Celtics 12

"I don't really consider it manning up until you play me straight up," O'Neal said. "I've never doubled anybody. So you tell me who the real Superman is."

LeBron James had 32 points and 13 assists as the Cavaliers -- with a big fourth-quarter defensive effort from O'Neal -- matched their franchise record by winning their 13th straight game with a 115-106 victory over the Magic.

It was a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals, and both teams are again on top of the East this year, but O'Neal, who had 10 points and six rebounds on Thursday, has made a huge difference for Cleveland.

The Cavaliers are 4-0 this season against the Lakers and Magic, teams they struggled to beat a year ago.

"We swept San Antonio in the regular season [in 2007], then got to the finals and they swept us in the finals," James said. "You want to win those games, of course. What you do in the regular season is good, but once the playoffs start, everyone is 0-0."

Fast Facts

• The Cavs won their 13th straight game, the longest winning streak in the NBA this season.

• Cleveland improved to 2-0 against the Magic on the year.

• The Magic had their three-game road win streak snapped.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

O'Neal and Howard -- both nicknamed "Superman" -- were plagued with foul trouble most of the night, taking some of the luster off their physical battle in the post. But O'Neal kept his word by taking care of Howard by himself, while the Magic employed a consistent double team on O'Neal.

"It doesn't matter who's on the floor. Just to play the game at a high level is always fun," Howard said, downplaying his matchup with O'Neal. "It's entertaining for the crowd. I know he caught the ball one time in the post and the crowd erupted like he was about to do a Superman dunk or something."

Saddled with five fouls, O'Neal did not enter the fourth quarter until 7:48 remained with the game tied at 94.

Howard, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds, immediately spun around O'Neal for a dunk. The Magic didn't score again for five minutes as James and the Cavaliers built a 105-98 advantage. O'Neal plugged up the middle during his 19 minutes on the floor, something the Cavaliers sorely needed during their battles with Orlando last season.

Howard, who has struggled with fouls in both meetings against Cleveland this season, overpowered the Cavaliers during last season's finals, averaging 25.8 points and 13 rebounds during Orlando's series victory in six games. In two games against O'Neal and the Cavaliers this season, Howard has averaged 15 points and nine rebounds.

"Don't compare me to nobody," O'Neal said, borrowing a line from Jay-Z. "I'd rather not be mentioned. I'm offended."

O'Neal might have really been offended by Howard's recent commercial using the "Superman" moniker, something he takes credit for creating upon entering the league. Even James acknowledged the nickname battle has stung his teammate.

"The whole Superman thing kind of bothers him," James said. "That's definitely his nickname."

While O'Neal handled Howard, James again closed out another opponent late in the game, scoring seven points in the final three minutes while Orlando struggled to find the basket.

James hit a deep jumper from just inside the 3-point line to give the Cavaliers a 105-96 lead, then followed it up with a 3-pointer and another jumper to put the game out of reach. James also had eight rebounds, falling two shy of his third triple-double this season.

Orlando, playing for the fourth time in five nights, had won nine of its last 11.

J.J. Hickson had 20 points, and Anderson Varejao had 16 off the bench.

"We took care of the basketball," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "I thought all our guys tried to attack and they did not just settle for the 3-point shot."

The Cavaliers scored 52 points in the paint.

Orlando's Rashard Lewis added 19 points, Vince Carter had 14 and Jameer Nelson had 13.

When Howard picked up his fourth foul five minutes into the third quarter, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy pulled him, something he later regretted. Most of Howard's fouls came when O'Neal was off the floor.

"In retrospect, I should have left [Howard] in the game and played him straight through," Van Gundy said. "That was a mistake. Down the stretch, I should have gone back to having the ball in Dwight's hands and I didn't. I'll take the responsibility for that."

Cleveland can set a record for consecutive wins next week when it hosts Denver on Thursday following the All-Star break.

Game notes


Guard Delonte West returned to Cleveland's lineup after missing nine games with a broken left ring finger. West had eight points in 24 minutes. ... Cleveland's Leon Powe passed a number of physical tests this week and appears to be on pace to return shortly after the All-Star break. Powe had microfracture and ACL surgery on his knee over the summer. ... O'Neal's reality television show "Shaq Vs." was picked up for another season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ORL
CLE
Points 106 115
FGM-FGA 36-75 (.480) 44-84 (.524)
3PM-3PA 10-26 (.385) 9-20 (.450)
FTM-FTA 24-31 (.774) 18-25 (.720)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-36 11-40
Assists 18 28
Turnovers 13 7
Steals 4 6
Blocks 4 2
Fast Break Points 15 14
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 23 (2/0)
Largest Lead 7 14

Top Performers

Orlando
Cleveland
Dwight Howard Howard
Points: 19
Reb: 11
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 2
LeBron James James
Points: 32
Reb: 8
Ast: 13
Stl: 2
Blk: 0