LeBron James dominated in an early season rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals against the Orlando Magic with 36 points, as the Cleveland Cavaliers went on to win 102-93 yesterday at the Amway Arena. Lately the 5-3 Cavs have started to find their rhythm after starting the season slower than anticipated. “I think we just played with a sense of urgency,” said James. “We’re in attack mode. The whole game we put pressure on their defense.”
Shaquille O’Neal as always was a huge presence down low with 10 points. Even though his numbers weren’t necessarily through the roof, he contained Orlando’s premier center Dwight Howard to just 11 points and 7 rebounds. It’s not unusual for Howard to walk off the floor with a 20/20 stat line, so for Shaq to cut that in half and get him in foul trouble was key to Cleveland’s success.
LeBron and the Cavaliers can smile about their victory in Orlando following their dismal performance in the playoffs last season. James knows as a veteran that a lot of work lies ahead for his squad, saying “It’s just one game. We will see them later on this season.” The teams will meet again on Thursday, February 11th at the Quicken Loans Arena.