A common scapegoat for Cleveland's occasionally mediocre play, gunner Larry Hughes made the case for his sizable contract, pouring in 40 in the Cavaliers' 118-111 win tonight over the Magic. Hughes's 23-point third quarter kept Cleveland close, and the team's 12-2 run in the first five minutes of the fourth cinched it.
Cleveland's defense rendered Magic superstar center Dwight Howard a non-factor with lots of help inside. LeBron James added his customary 29 points and 10 assists, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Damon Jones both contributed despite leaving the previous game—a rout against Denver—with injuries. Drew Gooden also returned to the Cavs after nursing a balky groin.