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James leads Cavaliers over Magic

Dec 27, 2014 - 2:54 AM Orlando, FL ( - LeBron James scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, lifting the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 98-89 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

Kevin Love had 22 points and seven rebounds for Cleveland despite not playing the fourth quarter and Dion Waiters scored 17.

The Cavaliers snapped a three-game road losing streak and have won four of their last five overall. They were coming off 101-91 loss to the Heat on Christmas in James' return to Miami.

Tobias Harris had 16 points and Evan Fournier scored 15 to lead the Magic, who have dropped five of their last six and finished 1-3 on a four-game homestand.

The Cavs were without point guard Kyrie Irving (knee) but got their ninth consecutive win over Orlando.

Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said they let James beat them in the fourth quarter.

"I don't think we got tired down the stretch," he said. "He made the plays for himself and his teammates."

James didn't even play in the fourth quarter the last time the teams met, a 106-74 win in Cleveland on Nov. 14.

His jumper with 7:19 remaining gave Cleveland the lead for good in this one. Soon after that, he led a quick 6-0 burst that put the Cavs ahead by seven with four minutes left and his three-point play inside of a minute sparked a 6-0 flurry to end the game.

"LeBron's the best player in the world, that's what he does," Cavs coach David Blatt said when asked about James' fourth quarter.

James sparked the Cavs to a win down the stretch, but Love kept them in the game early, scoring 13 points in the first quarter while the Magic shot over 72 percent from the field for a 32-27 lead going into the second.

Waiters had 10 points in the second quarter for Cleveland including eight to help the Cavs climb out of a 10-point hole and tie the score. They trailed 53-49 at halftime.

James converted a steal into a three-point play to give the Cavs a 65-64 lead in the third quarter, but the Magic countered with a 10-0 run punctuated by back-to-back 3s from Channing Frye and Fournier.

Orlando remained in front, taking a 75-71 lead into the fourth quarter.

"From the point that the first quarter ended to the end of the game, I thought we defended well," said Blatt.

Game Notes

James had eight assists, including the 6,000th of his career on a Mike Miller 3 early in the third quarter ... Tristan Thompson had a game-high 13 rebounds for the Cavs ... Orlando's last win over Cleveland came Nov. 23, 2012, in Orlando ... Cavs center Anderson Varejao had successful surgery Friday after rupturing his left Achilles tendon in Tuesday's game against Minnesota. He is expected to miss the rest of the season ... Cleveland hosts Detroit on Sunday ... The Magic play in Charlotte on Saturday.