Tue, Mar 16, 2004 - Page 19 News List

James lifts Cavs to sixth-straight win

NBA ROUNDUP The Cleveland talisman scored 26 points at the Cavs proved their worth against the Eastern Conference leaders with a breakthrough victory

AP , CLEVELAND

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James jumps to the basket against the Indiana pacers at Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

LeBron James scored 26 points, and he and Zydrunas Ilgauskas made key defensive plays in the closing moments of the Cavaliers' 107-104 victory over Indiana.

It was the sixth straight win for Cleveland, and it came against the runaway leader of the Eastern Conference.

"I think this win shows that we're a team to be reckoned with," point guard Jeff McInnis said yesterday. "We know we can play with anybody that puts an NBA uniform on."

Besides his offense, James forced Ron Artest to take a difficult 3-point shot as the final horn sounded. Igauskas forced a big turnover for the Cavs after making two free throws for the 107-104 lead.

"We feel like we're one of the best teams in the East," James said, "and we're proving ourselves."

Indeed.

Cleveland is 10-3 since the All-Star break and sixth in the East. Cleveland won just 17 games last season, but it didn't have James, the first overall pick in last year's draft straight out of high school.

Jermaine O'Neal had 32 points for the Pacers, who had their seven-game winning streak stopped.

Nuggets 102, Jazz 75

At Denver, Andre Miller had 24 points and 11 assists and the Nuggets extended their lead over the Jazz for the final playoff spot in the West to 1 1/2 games.

Carmelo Anthony added 23 points and Nene had 20 for the Nuggets, who had lost nine of 12 and saw their six-game lead over the Jazz shrink to a half-game.

Carlos Arroyo led Utah with 13 points.

Kings 101, Spurs 87

Mike Bibby scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half, and the Kings defeated the Spurs at Sacramento for the first time in more than two years.

Brad Miller had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings, who had a 23-7 run early in the fourth quarter. Chris Webber had 23 points and eight rebounds.

Heat 104, Nets 95

At Miami, the Heat won for the fifth time in six games and remained tied with New York for seventh place in the East. Eddie Jones led the Heat with 23 points, including nine in the fourth quarter.

The Nets' 15-game winning streak against Eastern Conference teams was snapped.

Knicks 103, Bucks 100

At Milwaukee, the Knicks rallied from a 26-point third-quarter hole. Tim Thomas scored 20 points against his former team, all but two in the second half, and Stephon Marbury had 21 points and 16 assists.

Brian Skinner had 21 points for the Bucks.

Trail Blazers 92, Timberwolves 83

At Minneapolis, Zach Randolph had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Derek Anderson scored 21 points to lead Portland to its third straight victory. Darius Miles added 19 points and Damon Stoudamire 17. Theo Ratliff had six blocked shots and 10 rebounds.

Kevin Garnett had 20 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Timberwolves, who have lost five of their last eight games. Sam Cassell had 20 points and eight assists.

Pistons 85, 76ers 69

At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Detroit held Philadelphia scoreless for the final two minutes, extending its NBA record for holding opponents under 70 points to five straight games.

Lindsey Hunter's steal on Philadelphia's last possession ensured the 76ers would not reach 70. The Pistons are the first team since the shot clock was implemented in 1954-55 to have a streak of more than two games.

Allen Iverson sat out for the fourth straight 76ers game because of a swollen right knee. He decided not to play after coach Chris Ford said he would come off the bench.

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