CLEVELAND: LeBron James scored 29 points and added 11 assists while playing only three quarters on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) as the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a four-game losing streak by routing Orlando 106-74.
The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, who called his team “fragile” only two nights earlier after a loss at Toronto, netted 22 points in the first half as the Cavaliers improved to 6-7 while visiting Orlando fell to 6-10.
James, who returned to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami that included two NBA titles and two NBA Finals losses, scored 16 points in the first quarter, five of them in a 9-0 run that put the Cavaliers ahead 26-14.
With James connecting on 7-of-12 shots in the first half, Cleveland stretched the lead to 56-38 at half-time and boosted the margin as large as 26 points in the third quarter, after a dunk-filled 16-2 run, and 33 in the final period.
Anderson Varejao added 14 points and Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving each scored 12 for the Cavaliers, who had dropped three consecutive home games.
Victor Oladipo scored 22 points and Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Magic, who scored a season-low point total in losing their eighth meeting in a row to the Cavaliers.
“Your goal should be (allowing) 22 points or under a quarter and we did that,” Cavaliers coach David Blatt said. “We made some small adjustments but things were looking pretty good so we didn’t need to reinvent the wheel.”
The Cavaliers had not lost six in a row with James on the roster since a six-game skid in late 2007.