The Orlando Magic are looking more and more like a contender in the Eastern Conference.
Dwight Howard had 22 points and 18 rebounds, Hedo Turkoglu added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the Magic took advantage of LeBron James' shooting struggles to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-88 on Thursday night.
Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson, both selected All-Star reserves earlier in the night, also came up big for Orlando. Lewis had 19 points, and Nelson chipped in 18.
James was 10-of-27 from the field for the Cavaliers, who lost for the first time in five games. He finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. He spent much of the night complaining to the officials and missed three of six free throws.
Orlando was much more efficient. A week after losing to defending NBA champion Boston, the Magic showed they might be more than an afterthought in the East.
They overcame a 10-point deficit in the second quarter and turned a close game into a one-sided affair with a spree of jumpers in the fourth.
Mickael Pietrus started the spurt with a mid-range shot. Anthony Johnson and Lewis followed with consecutive 3-pointers. Lewis added a jumper, then Turkoglu and Nelson hit two more from behind the arc to make it a rout with 6 minutes remaining.
Turkoglu's breakaway dunk made it 97-74 and sent many fans scattering for the exits.
The Magic gained momentum heading into halftime when they sliced a 10-point lead down to one, 56-55. They carried it out of the break, too.
Orlando scored the first seven points of the third quarter -- two inside baskets by Howard and Lewis' 3-pointer.
Cleveland looked as if it would get back in it, even finding motivation in consecutive technical fouls on coach Mike Brown and guard Mo Williams. The Cavs cut it to five, 75-70, but then the Magic got hot from long range.
It was much different in the first half as Orlando struggled from outside.
The Cavaliers had a double-digit lead twice in the first half -- thanks mostly to Wally Szczerbiak's hot hand
-- but the Magic sliced into it both times during a frantic, fast-paced game that saw neither team play its characteristic brand of stout defense.