Dwight Howard scored 17 points to help the Orlando Magic beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-84 and sweep a two-game preseason series between the NBA teams in China.
Howard and Cavaliers star LeBron James both sat out the fourth quarter of the game in Macau. James and Larry Hughes led Cleveland with 14 points before the sellout crowd of 11,572 at the new arena at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel. Macao is known as Asia’s Las Vegas.
The Magic beat the Cavaliers 90-86 on Wednesday in Shanghai. On Thursday, Orlando defeated a team of Chinese All-Stars 116-92.
The Cavaliers dominated the first quarter as guards James and Hughes each scored eight points to give Cleveland a 23-30 lead. Howard also had eight points, but struggled at the foul line, making only 2 of 5 attempts.
Orlando charged back in the second quarter and tied the game at 43-43 after Howard was fouled on a fast-break layup and hit the free throw for a three-point play with 25 seconds left in the half. But in the final seconds, the Cavaliers took the lead again at 45-43 after James sank two free throws.
The Magic opened the third quarter with an alley-oop by Howard, and moved ahead for the first time when forward Hedo Turkoglu sank a three-pointer for a 49-47 lead. Turkoglu hit another three-pointer, while forward Pat Garrity and guard J.J. Redick each added 3s and the Magic finished the quarter leading 71-69. The Cavaliers trailed the rest of the game.
Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said the third quarter was the best his team has played so far in the preseason.
“We started the game just getting absolutely manhandled on the boards and just throwing the ball all over the building,” Van Gundy said. “But then we settled down and got a little more competitive.”
Garrity, guard Keith Bogans and Redick each scored 14 points for Orlando.
Cleveland coach Mike Brown said his starting five did a good job cutting and screening on offense during the first quarter, but he was disappointed with his team’s defense.
“Orlando did a terrific job pushing the ball up the floor and getting into the paint, starting their drive-and-kick game and finding open shooters,” Brown said.