Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/23/12
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Making clutch free throws at the end of games was old hat for J.J. Redick when he was playing at Duke University. "But you don't see that happen much in the NBA," Redick said. It happened Friday night when Redick went 8 for 8 from the line in the final 22 seconds to help the Orlando Magic preserve a 108-104 victory over the Cavaliers. It was the fifth win this season for the surprising Magic, which got 22 points, six assists and six rebounds from Jameer Nelson and 19 points from Arron Afflalo. Redick finished with 18 points, six assists and single-handedly put the game away in the final 22 seconds. "It's always exciting when you're in a close game and free throws are required to win," Redick said. "It was a one-possession game every time I stepped to the line so it was nice to make 'em when we needed them." "J.J. is a luxury," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "When he has the ball in his hands, good things are going to happen." Redick's biggest contribution to the win may have come 10 seconds before he started his perfect run at the free throw line. Orlando led 98-97 when Redick split a double-team and fired a perfect bounce pass to teammate Nikola Vucevic for a layup that gave Orlando a 3-point lead with 32 seconds left in the game. "The bounce pass was definitely the bigger play," Redick said. "The free throws are something I should make, but I feel like I'm learning more and more about the NBA game and I love what I'm learning." Not so for the Cavaliers, who forced 16 turnovers while taking a 51-45 halftime lead, but could only create two turnovers the entire second half. Cleveland, which got 21 points off Magic mistakes in the first half, got only one point there in the second half. "That was the biggest difference," Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. "We didn't get up and pressure them like we did in the first half. They got 63 points in the second half, which is obviously too many." Dion Waiters led Cleveland with 25 points, including a layup that cut the deficit to 106-104 with 2.1 seconds to play. Anderson Varejao added 19 points and 17 rebounds and Jeremy Pargo had 15 points for the Cavaliers, who dropped to 3-9 this season. "They shot great, but I felt like we played great defense, too," Waiters said. "They made tough shots and that's the moral to the story. We have to continue working at the defensive end." Glen Davis had 16 points and eight rebounds for Orlando and Vucevic added 10 points and eight boards. A 3-pointer from Omri Casspi gave Cleveland an 81-80 lead with 8:55 left in the game and started a mad scramble to the finish for both teams. The Magic got a four-point lead on a 3-pointer from Afflalo that made it 87-83 with 7:43 left in the game, but that was the biggest advantage either team held in the final period. Cleveland turned the ball over six times and shot only 38 percent in the third period, keeping Orlando in the game. Nelson's 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds left in the third quarter made it 76-76 going into the final period. The Magic was fortunate to be down just 51-45 at halftime after turning the ball over 16 times in the first two periods. Cleveland scored 21 points off the Magic mistakes and Waiters contributed three treys, but the Cavaliers couldn't stop Orlando's perimeter shooting and saw what had been a 12-point advantage dwindle to six. Afflalo, Nelson and Redick each had a pair of 3-pointers as the Magic hit on seven of 12 bombs to stay in a game it was trying to throw away. Afflalo also had four fouls by halftime, but stayed in the game because of his hot shooting touch. Notes: The Magic has trailed after the first period in nine of its 12 games this season. Orlando has also used an NBA-high seven different starting lineups, but coach Jacque Vaughn said the two are not related. "I don't think there's been a correlation. We're trying to find a combination that was going to be conducive to success. Like I told the guys today, this is your job and this is what you do. Whether you're the sixth man, the second man or 15th man. It's your job to be ready to play." ... The Cavs have the odd distinction of giving up the most second-chance points in the NBA this season (9.3 per game), while scoring the third most second-chance points (16.0 per game). "I can't explain that one," Cavs coach Byron Scott said. "I usually don't pay a lot of attention to stats, but I do know that if you miss a lot of shots, you get a lot second-chance opportunities and we've done that in some games." ... The Magic led the NBA in 3-pointers made the last three seasons, but that streak seems destined to end this year. Orlando has only 53 treys this season, third fewest in the league. ... Cavs forwards Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller were wearing wraparound masks, Thompson to protect a fractured nasal cavity and Zeller to protect a fracture below his right eye.
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