Balanced Magic get 51 free throw attempts, beat Cavaliers 99-89

The AP reports: Dwight Howard scored 24 points—14 on free throws—and Rafer Alston added 18 as the Orlando Magic, sick of seeing replays of LeBron James’ dramatic buzzer-beater to win Game 2, downed the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-89 on Sunday night to take a 2-1 lead in the series. A physical game from start to finish, there were 86 free throws attempted, 58 personal fouls called, two technicals, and a flagrant. The officials spent half the night stepping between players on both sides as tempers flared inside an overheated Amway Arena. In the first half, Mo Williams had his left eye split open by Orlando’s Anthony Johnson, who nailed Cleveland’s point guard with an elbow… James scored 41 on just 11-of-28 shooting and missed five free throws in the fourth quarter. And once again, Cleveland’s superstar didn’t get enough help from his teammates. Williams, Delonte West and Zydrunas Ilgauskas shot a combined 13-of-37. notes: The Cavs were quiet in the first quarter, but the Magic went cold in the second, leading to a 41-41 halftime score. The Magic then outscored the Cavs by six in the third quarter and by five in the fourth.

The Cavs shot just 37.2% from the field and only hit 5-of-26 (19.2%) three-pointers.

Orlando lived on the free throw line, getting 51 attempts, hitting 39. Dwight Howard hit 14-of-19 free throws, Hedo Turkoglu 12-of-12. The Cavs went 26-of-35. LeBron James alone had 24 free throw attempts (hitting 18), while the rest of Cleveland went to the line 11 times.

The Magic had balance: Dwight Howard had 24 points and 9 rebounds, Rafer Alston had 18 points and 3 steals, Mickael Pietrus (4-of-9) came off the bench for 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks, Rashard Lewis (5-of-8) had 15 points (but little else), and Hedo Turkoglu shot a miserable 1-of-11 but his 11-of-12 free throw shooting resulted in 13 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists.

For the Cavs: LeBron James (11-of-28, just 1-of-8 threes) had 41 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals, Mo Williams (just 5-of-16) had 15 points, 7 rebounds but more turnovers than assists, and Delonte West (5-of-11) had 12 points and more turnovers than assists. Other than Zydrunas Ilgauskas contributing a mere 9 points and 9 rebounds, barely anyone else on Cleveland did much of anything.

Fans discussed the game live as it happened in this forum topic.

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