Hughes has hot hand

Associated Press
Magic guard Jameer Nelson (left) drives to the basket in front of Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes during the first half. Hughes scored a season-high 40 points in Cleveland's victory.

ORLANDO, Fla. --- Larry Hughes scored a season-high 40 points and LeBron James added 29 and 10 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Orlando Magic 118-111 on Monday night.


Hughes scored 23 in the third quarter on 6-for-7 shooting, including two 3-pointers and an assortment of drives and jumpers. He hit nine of 10 free throws in the period.

Hedo Turkoglu had 25 points for Orlando, leading all five starters in double figures. Dwight Howard had 16 points and nine rebounds, scoring 10 in the first quarter but struggling the rest of the way as Cleveland collapsed inside with double- and triple-teams.

The teams were closely matched through three quarters, and entered the fourth tied at 86. But Cleveland opened a 98-88 lead, by far its biggest of the game, as the Magic scored only two points in the first 4:48 of the period.

Orlando lost its second in a row and third of a five-game home stretch before the All-Star break. Jameer Nelson had 22 points for Orlando, Rashard Lewis scored 15 and Maurice Evans added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Drew Gooden was back in the lineup after missing three games with a strained right groin. He finished with 10 points. The Cavs were still missing Daniel Gibson (strained hamstring), Anderson Varejao (sprained ankle) and Sasha Pavlovic (sprained foot).



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