Speights, Irving lead Cavaliers past Magic 118-94

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 23, 2013 at 9:49 pm •  Published: February 23, 2013
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The Magic played without point guard Jameer Nelson, who missed his second straight game with a left patella contusion.

Without trade acquisitions Harris, Udrih and Doron Lamb, the Magic hung tough in a close loss to Memphis on Friday, but struggled at times against Cleveland without a true point guard opposite Irving.

Even with all three playing Saturday, the Cavaliers were clearly the more comfortable team in the early going and took advantage of it as they built a 10-point lead.

Irving was especially active, both scoring and distributing. At one point early in the first quarter he received an outlet pass on a fast break and casually delivered a pass off the backboard to Gee, who dunked it easily.

It set a tone, and kept Orlando scrambling throughout the night.

When they did get into the game, the Magic's new arrivals brought in instant energy, helping to briefly stunt Cleveland's early momentum.

It was tied at the half, thanks to balanced scoring on both sides. Orlando had eight players with at least six points in the opening 24 minutes, while Gee was the only player on either team to reach double figures in the half, scoring 10 points.

Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said his message will remain consistent during this latest transitional period.

"I think you still hold guys accountable," he said. "There is no mistake in the accountability ... It doesn't guarantee you wins and losses, but we're trying to play the best that we can and that's what you want to do. Each time you step on the floor you do your job. You play the best you can."

If the Cavaliers have any shot of ending the season with momentum, though, it must happen now Irving said.

"We're just trying to win as many games as possible," Irving said. "In order to do that, we just have to find consistency on this team and it starts with this road trip ... It is a challenge for us as a team and we are looking forward to it."

Notes: Cleveland F Omri Casspi wasn't with the team after being taken to an Orlando hospital on Saturday afternoon complaining of acute stomach pain. G Daniel Gibson was also inactive because of what the team said were personal reasons. ... The Magic are now 5-21 this season when their opponent scores at least 100 points.

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Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower.