Thu, Nov 23, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Cleveland barely hold off Grizzlies

BIG SHOTS After nearly blowing a 20-point lead, Cleveland fought for the important plays down the stretch to improve on their conference-best record

AP , CLEVELAND

The Los Angeles Lakers' Luke Walton dunks the ball over the Los Angeles Clippers' Sam Cassell during the first half of their NBA game on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

PHOTO: AP

Drew Gooden scored a season-high 22 points, LeBron James kicked in 15 and Damon Jones dropped three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, helping the Cleveland Cavaliers to hold off the Memphis Grizzlies 97-94 on Tuesday.

The Cavaliers, who have won six of seven, nearly blew a 20-point lead in the second half, but made big shots and big plays down the stretch to improve the Eastern Conference's best record to 8-3.

Jones, who finished with 21 points -- 11 in the fourth -- made two free throws with 15 seconds left and Donyell Marshall added a pair of foul shots with 6.7 seconds to go for the Cavs, who were playing their third game without injured guard Larry Hughes.

Chucky Atkins had 17 to lead the Grizzlies, but it was Mike Miller (15 points) and Brian Cardinal (12) who rallied Memphis, which outscored Cleveland 28-17 in the final period but never took the lead.

Hornets 101, Heat 86

At Oklahoma City, Peja Stojakovic scored 23 points and New Orleans opened the fourth quarter with a 10-point run to pull away from Miami.

With mostly reserves on the floor, the Hornets scored 10 straight points to take an 85-71 lead after Bobby Jackson converted a three-point play off a floating finger roll down the left baseline.

Stojakovic stretched the lead to 15 with a 3-pointer near the top of the key. The defending NBA champions never got closer than 11 after that, and Miami coach Pat Riley pulled his starters with 3:17 left and the Hornets up 16.

Dwyane Wade had 29 points for Miami and Jason Williams added 13.

Mavericks 107, Wizards 80

At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored seven of his 30 points in a game-turning run that ended the third quarter and Dallas won its seventh straight.

After their first-ever 0-4 start, the Mavericks haven't lost since. Their winning streak is the longest in the NBA, one more than Utah, which was off on Tuesday night.

Washington is winless in its first five road games, the latest it has gone this deep in the season without a road victory since the 1999-2000 season.

Lakers 105, Clippers 101

At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 40 points, 10 in the final 5:38, and the Lakers beat the Clippers.

Lamar Odom added 18 points for the Lakers. Smush Parker had 15 points and Kwame Brown had 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Elton Brand led the Clippers with 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Corey Maggette had 20 points in the first of four meetings this season between the two teams.

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