CLEVELAND — LeBron James notched his second straight triple-double, Kevin Love scored 28 and the Cleveland Cavaliers warmed up for a big game in Boston by dropping 18 3-pointers in a 122-102 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) April 5, 2017
Kyrie Irving added 24 points and J.R. Smith 19 for the Cavs, who made nine 3s and scored 43 in the third quarter to turn a tight game into a blowout and beat Orlando for the 17th straight time.
Cleveland didn’t have any on-court issues following an emotional, double-overtime victory Sunday and won its third straight. The defending champions also moved into a tie with the Celtics atop the Eastern Conference. The teams will meet Wednesday for first place and temporary ownership of the top seed and home-court advantage until the NBA Finals.
Evan Fournier scored 21 for Orlando, which has lost five in a row and six of seven.
The Cavs became the third team in league history to reach 1,000 3s in a season, joining Golden State (1,077 last season) and Houston, which has dropped 1,109 this season.
The Magic outplayed the Cavs in the first half and took a two-point lead into the locker room at halftime. But the Cavs came out firing — from deep — in the third quarter and quickly spun the game in their favor.
Smith, who has rediscovered his shooting touch after missing 36 games following thumb surgery, made four 3s in the first 3:12 of the period and Cleveland started 6 of 7 on 3s — with James getting assists on five of them.
James finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists before checking out with 5:11 left. On Sunday, he apologized for an argument with Tristan Thompson, a flare-up that raised questions about the Cavs’ chemistry.
While the James-Thompson finger-pointing debate didn’t look good, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue isn’t concerned about it negatively impacting his team.
“I just think we’re passionate and you’re trying to win every game,” he said. “When you hit a tough patch like this, sometimes it happens. It’s not where guys are going to fight or not speak to each other. It happened on the floor, we addressed it, we moved on.”
Magic: G Jeff Green missed his seventh straight game with a sore back. … Swingmen Patricio Garino and Marcus Georges-Hunt made their debuts during garbage time in the fourth after both signed Monday. … Coach Frank Vogel believes the Cavs have time to get themselves together before the playoffs start. “They’ll stabilize,” he said. “It’s normal, especially when you have key guys out for as long as Kevin and J.R. have been out and with Kyle (Korver) having been out.”
Cavaliers: Korver returned after missing 11 games with a sore left foot and scored 11. … James scored in double figures in his 788th consecutive game, breaking a tie with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-most in league history. Michael Jordan scored at least 10 in 866 straight. Those numbers didn’t impress Lue. “They should be able to score 10 points,” Lue said laughing. “I averaged 10 points for four years. I mean, the best player in the world, he better be able to score 10 points.”… Cleveland’s winning streak against Orlando is the longest against one opponent in team history and the longest active streak in the league. Oklahoma City has won 16 in a row over Philadelphia. … Billionaire business mogul Warren Buffett sat in a baseline seat near Cleveland’s bench.
Magic: Return home to host Brooklyn on Thursday.
Cavaliers: Cleveland is 2-1 against Boston this season. The Celtics won the most recent meeting, 103-99 on March 1.