The Cleveland Cavaliers picked up a much needed win at home on Thursday, but it took a bit of magic.
After leading by as many as 23 points in the first half, and by 20 points at the half, the Cavs blew their lead in the second half before holding on to beat the Orlando Magic 104-103. Two Isaiah Thomas free throws with 11 seconds left were the deciding factor for the Cavs before Magic guard Elfird Payton missed a shot at the rim with three seconds left before an inadvertent whistle resulted in a jump ball at mid-court. Aaron Gordon then banked in a 45-footer with 0.2 seconds left that would have won the game for Orlando, but was called for a jump ball violation.
The win is the Cavs’ first since Jan. 6 — when the Cavs faced the Magic in Orlando — and snaps a four-game losing streak.
Thomas finished with a team-high 21 points. LeBron James finished with 16 points, leaving him 25 points of becoming the youngest player ever to reach 30,000 career points. He was just 2-8 from the line. Derrick Rose, in his first game since Nov. 7, scored nine points in 13 points off the bench. Payton led the Magic with 19 points.
A main reason the Cavs got out to a big first half, and then had it slip away in the second half, was three-point shoot. Cleveland made nine three-pointers in the opening 24 minutes before going 1-17 from three in latter 24.
The Cavs next play on Saturday at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tipoff is at 3:30 p.m.