May 25, 2009

NBA: Orlando 99, Cleveland 89

Dwight Howard's 24 points and nine rebounds Sunday led Orlando's 99-89 win over Cleveland, giving the Magic a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference final.

Orlando, still smarting from a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by LeBron James Friday, bolted to a 16-6 lead when Rashard Lewis sank a jumper with 6:07 left in the first quarter, but saw its lead dwindle to 42-41 by halftime.

Howard sank seven free throws in the fourth to secure the victory before fouling out. Rafer Alston scored 18 with four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Lewis scored 15, and Hedo Turkoglu added 13 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Magic, who led by at least five points the entire fourth quarter.

James led Cleveland with 41 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.

His point total came despite making only 11-of-28 shots from the field.

Mo Williams scored 15, while Delonte West added 12 for the Cavaliers, who are back in Orlando for Game 4 Tuesday.