Anderson Varejao hit two crucial jumpers in overtime and tied a franchise record with a career-high 25 rebounds to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-81 win over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night.
The Cavaliers broke a season-high six-game losing streak while playing without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who missed his first game this season because of a bruised left knee. Irving averages a team-high 22.2 points.
Orlando couldn’t hold a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter and Cleveland tied the game on Dion Waiters’ layup with .06 seconds remaining.
Varejao’s basket with 2:07 remaining in OT put Cleveland ahead 83-81. He added another basket with 1:34 left and hit two free throws with 23.9 seconds remaining to finish with 18 points.
Glen Davis scored 16 points for the Magic, who scored only two points in the extra session.
The Magic led 78-68, but Waiters hit two free throws. Jarrett Jack, starting in place of Irving, cut the lead to 79-75 by hitting three foul shots with 13.9 seconds remaining. After Orlando was called for a 5-second violation trying to inbound the ball, Waiters’ basket cut the lead to 79-77 with 10.1 seconds left.
E’Twaun Moore missed two free throws and Cleveland was awarded the ball with 9.3 seconds left after a video review. Waiters took the inbounds pass and drove down the left of the lane to tie the game.
Nelson’s 3-point attempt from the corner bounced off the rim and the teams went to overtime.
Cleveland’s last three home games have gone to overtime.
Waiters scored 17 points and Thompson added 16 for the Cavaliers.
Jameer Nelson scored 14 points for the Magic, while Arron Afflalo and Andrew Nicholson had 12 apiece.
Orlando rookie guard Victor Oladipo, who came into the game averaging 12.9 points, didn’t score until hitting a jumper in the fourth quarter that gave Orlando a 70-62 lead. Davis added a basket for a 10-point advantage. Oladipo scored all six of his points in the final quarter.
Irving felt a “pop” in his knee while driving to the basket in Tuesday’s loss to Indiana, but an MRI on Wednesday revealed he only sustained a bruise. He’s listed as day to day. Cleveland’s next game is Saturday at Brooklyn and the Cavaliers host Indiana on Sunday.
Orlando trailed 41-39 at half, but eight points by Davis and a pair of 3-pointers by Nelson helped the Magic take a 62-57 lead into the fourth quarter.
Magic center Nikola Vucevic missed the game after spraining his left ankle Tuesday in a 94-81 loss to Golden State. He missed four games with the same injury in early December and is considered day to day. Vucevic is averaging 13.4 points and a team-high 11.1 rebounds.
The Cavaliers defeated the Magic 109-100 in Orlando on Dec. 13.
Neither team could build a lead in the first half. Cleveland led by five points several times in the first quarter while Orlando went ahead by six in the second period. Thompson’s basket at the buzzer gave the Cavaliers a 41-39 lead at halftime.
Orlando is 4-11 on the road.
The arena was about half full, thanks to a snowstorm that hit the area.