Getting Some Support
Now that LeBron James is getting some support from his teammates, the Cleveland Cavaliers look to carry over their strong play at home to the road.
The Cavaliers hope to build off their most recent victory while trying to avoid a fourth consecutive road loss when they face the streaking Orlando Magic on Monday night.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Orlando –7.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 204 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 65% of bets for this game have been placed on Cleveland +7.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
James scored 33 points as Cleveland (38-29) held off Charlotte 98-91 on Sunday for its season-high seventh straight win at home. Though James - the NBA's scoring leader at 30.9 points per game - had another strong game, he was glad to share the spotlight.
Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 16 points and nine rebounds in his return after missing seven games with a lower back injury. Ben Wallace had 15 rebounds and also added a pair of late field goals to keep the Cavaliers ahead.
"It shows they can help this team if we put them in positions to score,'' said James, who also had 10 assists and seven rebounds.
With Ilgauskas apparently healthy, James and Cavaliers will boast a deeper lineup at Orlando (44-24), which has already clinched a playoff spot and is averaging 114.5 points during its current four-game winning streak.
The Cavaliers are fourth in the Eastern Conference and trying to nail down home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They are 5 1/2 games back of the third-place Magic, but 3 1/2 ahead of fifth-place Toronto in the conference.
Cleveland, which hasn't had a winning record away from home since 1995-96, has lost five of its last six on the road and is 16-19 overall. The Cavaliers, though, won 118-111 at Orlando on Feb. 11 in the teams' most recent meeting for their third win in five road games against the Magic.
On Sunday, Cleveland overcame a 42.7-percent shooting effort by recording 50 rebounds and holding the Bobcats scoreless in the final 1:08.
"At that point you need to get a stop,'' James said of his team's late defense. "You know down the stretch that if you can get one stop and a score, then the game can get out of reach. We were able to accomplish that.''
James, who's averaging 35.3 points in his last nine contests, has totaled 68 points, 24 assists and 20 rebounds in two games versus Orlando this season. He had 39 points, 14 assists and 13 boards in Cleveland's 117-116 overtime home loss to the Magic on Nov. 14.
Orlando is coming off a 122-111 home win over Indiana on Saturday. Hedo Turkoglu had 27 points and Rashard Lewis added 22 for the Magic, who shot a season-high 63.6 percent and went 12-for-20 from 3-point range for their 12th victory in 15 games.
"I wouldn't say it was a great offensive night because we handled the ball very poorly," said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy, who's team overcame 22 turnovers, including seven by All-Star Dwight Howard. "We were able to survive because we shot the ball so well."
Turkoglu had 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting against Cleveland last month.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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