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Thomas' late freethrows give Cavs much needed win

19 January 2018

However, a controversial foul call on Orlando's Shelvin Mack with 11.2 seconds remaining sent guard Isaiah Thomas to the line where he drilled two free throws that allowed Cleveland to win 104-103 and escape what would have been a monumental Magic comeback victory. The three officials ruled there was an inadvertent whistle and held a jump ball at midcourt.

Magic forward Aaron Gordon grabbed the toss and sank an apparent game-winning 45-footer as the horn sounded and Cleveland's crowds shrieked in disbelief. However, Gordon committed a jump-ball violation with the move and Cleveland had only to inbound the ball to pick up a victory following a insane and exhausting final sequence that left everyone dazed.

LeBron James had six turnovers and went 2-of-8 from the free-throw line, but his 16 points in the Cavs' nail-biter of a win means he needs just 25 more to reach the 30,000 point mark.

James now needs another 25 points to become the seventh player in National Basketball Association history to reach 30,000.

And after Thursday, the bright lights will be back on the Cavs as they host the Thunder on Saturday afternoon in a nationally televised ABC tilt. "But in the second half, we didn't get much in the paint".

Payton led the Magic (13-32) with 19 points, while Gordon and Evan Fournier each scored 17.

He continued: "Obviously we know we've been struggling as of late".

Rose deepens Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue's rotation to 10, for now, and he pulled all five reserves in the second quarter for his starters.

The Cavaliers led by as many as 23 points, but their advantage dissolved in the second half as the Magic outscored them 56-37 over the third and fourth quarters.

"I thought he looked pretty good", James said.

He will have the first choice from a pool of selected players, from both the Eastern and Western Conference which will include former Cavs teammate Kyrie Irving.

Golden State's Stephen Curry is the other captain.

It was a sixth win in seven games for Philadelphia, who also benefited from Dario Saric's 16 points.

Magic: Afflalo took a wild swing at Bjelica, a punch Vogel knew would result in league punishment.

"We're glad we won", Green said, "but we can't be lackadaisical".

Despite snapping their four-game losing streak on Thursday, LeBron James still feels that the Cleveland Cavaliers are still struggling.

Cavaliers: James will make his 14th straight All-Star start, one behind Kobe Bryant's record. "He has to understand that his health is most important and without that we can't go very far", Lue said. We can't continue to just take one-pass shots, if that's the case.

Thomas' late freethrows give Cavs much needed win