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Magic survive Lebron's 49

THE Orlando Magic withstood a sensational 49-point effort from LeBron James to shock the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-106 in front of their home fans in a thrilling Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday.

The Magic had a clutch 3-pointer from Rashard Lewis with 14.7 seconds left and took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series when a Mo Williams' shot at the buzzer hit the back rim.

Dwight Howard scored 30 points and grabbed 13 boards before fouling out with 25 seconds to go and Lewis put up 22 for Orlando, who outscored Cleveland 59-43 over the second half.

"You have to play 48 minutes," Lewis, who scored his team's final five points, told reporters.

"We can't let them hit us first, we have to set the tone. We felt like we only played one half tonight - the second one."

Orlando took the lead for the first time with 10:06 remaining in the game and it was back and forth from then on.

Lewis made a jumper to put Orlando up one with 31 seconds left and James responded with a 3-point play to put Cleveland to a 106-104 ahead before Lewis' clutch shot.

League MVP James finished 20-for-30 from the field on his way to a career playoff high points total, adding eight assists and six rebounds.

Even that performance, however, could not prevent the Cavaliers from falling to their first defeat of the postseason and only a third home loss all season.

The Cavaliers had raced to an early 19-6 lead and held a 63-48 advantage after the first half, in which James had 26 points. The Magic chipped away with a strong third quarter and pulled to within 82-78 heading into the fourth.

"I just told my guys, 'keep fighting, the game isn't over yet,'" said Howard, who caused an eight-minute delay in the first quarter by bringing down the 24-second clock with a vicious dunk.

"We fought our way back. We believed from the beginning that we were going to win."

The Magic have now beaten the Cavaliers three times in four meetings this season and appear poised to give Cleveland their first playoff test.

Hedo Turkoglu had 15 points and 14 assists for Orlando, while Cleveland got 17 points from Williams but could not provide enough help for James.


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