All-Star Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers successfully closed out a seven-game homestand and will take their winning ways to the road Saturday against the Orlando Magic.
The Cavaliers went 4-3 on the homestand thanks to a 105-100 triumph over the New Orleans Hornets Wednesday night. Irving netted 20 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter and sank 13-of-22 shots.
"He had a really good game," Hornets coach Monty Williams admitted of Irving. "I think for the most part we gave in (by) allowing him to go the basket."
Irving rebounded from a six-point performance against San Antonio before the All-Star break and has five 30-point games since Jan. 22.
Cavs rookie Dion Waiters had 16 points in the win, Cleveland's seventh in the past 12 contests. Waiters leads all Eastern Conference rookies in points per game (14.2), assists per game (3.2) and steals per game (1.1).
The Cavaliers are 6-1 in their last seven against the East and 7-21 away from Quicken Loans Arena. They will also visit Miami and Chicago on the jaunt.
Cavs guard Daniel Gibson (personal) will miss tonight's game and is averaging only 6.6 ppg. He did not travel with the team to Orlando.
Orlando is mired in a four-game losing streak and is coming off back-to-back road losses against Dallas and Memphis.
In Friday's 88-82 loss to the Grizzlies, Arron Afflalo scored 20 points and rookie Moe Harkless added 19 and nine rebounds. Andrew Nicholson delivered 14 points and E'Twaun Moore had 12 off the bench for Orlando, which is 1-16 in its last 17 games. That doesn't seem to bother coach Jacque Vaughn.
"I was extremely proud -- just the effort and the competitiveness, the thing(s) we've been talking about," Vaughn said. "It was just really good basketball overall tonight."
Vaughn hopes to have Al Harrington and Jameer Nelson healthy versus the Cavaliers. Harrington (knee) is probable and Nelson (knee) is doubtful.
The Magic are 9-19 in central Florida this season and could debut some new players versus Cleveland. Forward Hakim Warrick was acquired from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for center Josh McRoberts, while the Magic also shipped sharpshooter J.J. Redick, guard Ish Smith and big man Gustavo Ayon to the Milwaukee Bucks for Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb and Tobias Harris.
Orlando and Cleveland have split a pair of meetings this season with each team winning on its home floor. The Magic, though, are 14-4 in the last 18 matchups between the Eastern foes and unbeaten in six straight as the host.