ORLANDO — LeBron James had 33 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to just miss a triple-double in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 131-127 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
Kevin Love added 27 points, and Isaiah Thomas had 19 points and four assists in his first start since returning from a hip injury that delayed his Cavaliers debut. Dwayne Wade added 16 points.
Aaron Gordon led Orlando with 30 points, Elfrid Payton had 20 points and five assists, Evan Fournier had 18 points, and Mario Hezonja added 16 points and 10 rebounds in his seventh start of the season. The Magic have lost four straight.
Down 107-87 to start the fourth quarter, the Magic cut the deficit to five on Hezonja’s 3-pointer with 2:39 left. Payton’s layup in traffic made it 128-125 with 40 seconds to play.
On Cleveland’s next possession, Thomas shot an air-ball from the free-throw line, but Wade grabbed the ball it in stride and made the layup to give the Cavs a 130-125 lead with 17.8 seconds left.
Cleveland missed three of four free throws in the final seconds, but the Magic couldn’t take advantage and lost for the 13th time in their last 14 games.
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Cavaliers: Kyle Korver tied Paul Pierce for fourth-place on the career 3-pointers list with 2,143. Cleveland has won nine straight times in Orlando. … James played in his 1,100 game in his 15-year career. … Cleveland is 22-0 when tied or leading starting the fourth quarter.
Magic: Jonathon Simmons back injury forced the Magic to change their starting lineup for the 16th time this season. … Payton got into a shouting match with Thomas in the first half and both players were given a technical. SG Evan Fournier had his string of consecutive free throws end at 21 since returning from an ankle injury six games ago.
Cavaliers: Continue five-game trip at Minnesota on Monday night.
Magic: At Dallas on Tuesday night to start a three-game trip.