Cavaliers' young guns lead way to victory over Sonics

Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2004

SEATTLE - LeBron James went to work in the fourth quarter.

So did Darius Miles and Dajuan Wagner.

James scored nine of his 27 points in the fourth, leading a charge by Cleveland's young legs that lifted the Cavaliers to a 104-96 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday night.

"We got a lot of production from a lot of people," Cleveland coach Paul Silas said.

James, making his first appearance in Seattle, barely missed a triple-double with nine rebounds and nine assists. He had six points during a 10-0 run midway through the fourth, finishing it with a breakaway dunk to give Cleveland a 94-83 lead.

Wagner added a 3-pointer to make it 99-86 with 3:57 to play before the Sonics rallied with a 7-0 run. That's when Miles, who helped hold Ray Allen to five points in the fourth quarter, made a huge block against Vladimir Radmanovic to end Seattle's burst.

"We had a lot of fresh legs," James said. "Coming off the back-to-back we needed that, especially on the road."

James added a driving basket as Cleveland snapped a three-game losing streak and won on the road for only the third time in 21 games.

"I really appreciated that fourth quarter," said Miles, who blocked three shots in the final period. "We didn't have any veterans in. It was all young guys, and we really stepped up big. We just played hard and tried to stay positive."

The Sonics have lost two straight after winning eight of 10.

Allen scored 25 points for Seattle and Radmanovic had 21 points and 13 rebounds. Rashard Lewis scored 13 points with 10 rebounds and Brent Barry added 10 points. Calvin Booth blocked 10 shots, seven in the first quarter alone.

It wasn't enough.

"That was very sloppy on our part," Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "The fact we allowed that team to be the aggressors, that shouldn't happen."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers while Miles and Eric Williams each added 12 points and Carlos Boozer scored 11, all in the first half.

Seattle shot 14-of-37 on 3-pointers, the most attempted against the Cavaliers this season, and it helped the Sonics keep things within reach until James took over in the fourth quarter.

"We pushed the ball, jacked up a bunch of threes and didn't play defense," Lewis said. "Sometimes you've got to mix it up. When we're hitting them, we're fine. When we're not, we've got to get to the basket or get to the free throw line."

But when the Sonics drove, they couldn't seem to get a basket or a foul.

McMillan was assessed a technical foul for protesting when rookie guard Luke Ridnour was called for an offensive foul after banking in an 8-footer late in the third quarter. The Sonics trailed 76-70 after Jason Kapono made the technical free throw.

The call, though, ignited McMillan's team. Seattle closed the third quarter with a 9-2 burst, with Radmanovic making a three-point play and then finding Richie Frahm for a 3-pointer that put the Sonics ahead 79-78 going into the fourth.

Rockets 93, Wizards 80

WASHINGTON - Yao Ming scored 14 of his 21 points in the third quarter, and Houston had a season-high 27 assists in a victory over Washington.

All five Rockets starters scored in double figures - Cuttino Mobley, Steve Francis and Jim Jackson had 16 apiece, and Kelvin Cato scored 12. Yao shot 6-of-9 from the field, 9-of-10 on free throws and had 11 rebounds. Francis added 10 assists.

Hawks 86, Spurs 77

ATLANTA - Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 29 points and the Atlanta Hawks built a big lead and held on for a surprising victory.

The defending NBA champion Spurs lost for only the second time in their last 19 games.

Atlanta went cold in the fourth quarter, managing only two points in the first 5 minutes to let San Antonio make a game of it.The Spurs got as close as 75-73 when Tony Parker put back an offensive rebound with 2:23 left.

Jason Terry responded with a clutch 3-pointer out of the corner, and Stephen Jackson finished off his former team by hitting a long jumper with 34 seconds remaining, just beating the shot clock.

Bucks 111, Celtics 103

MILWAUKEE - Michael Redd scored 20 points and Toni Kukoc had 16, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their sixth victory in seven games.

Erick Strickland scored 14 points and Joe Smith and Desmond Mason had 12 apiece for the Bucks, whose bench accounted for 56 points.

Ricky Davis came off the bench to score a season-high 33 points for Boston.

Timberwolves 94, Hornets 89

NEW ORLEANS - Latrell Sprewell scored 26 points, including a pair of key free throws with 14.5 seconds left, to lead Minnesota to a comeback victory.

Kevin Garnett added 22, including a tough baseline turnaround jumper that gave Minnesota its first lead with 1:44 left. Sam Cassell scored 24 as the Timberwolves won for the 15th time in 18 games. New Orleans has lost three straight.

Pistons 105, Bulls 89

CHICAGO - Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and the Detroit Pistons went on a late 22-7 run to win their ninth straight game.

Ben Wallace had 12 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons, and Chauncey Billups added 17 points and seven assists. The streak is Detroit's longest since winning 11 in a row in the 1990-91 season.

Nuggets 105, Suns 92

PHOENIX - Voshon Lenard scored 32 points, and the Denver Nuggets continued their best start in 18 years.

The Nuggets scored the first nine points, led by 17 in the first quarter, 21 at the half and 32 in the third quarter against the hapless Suns - 0-4 since the blockbuster trade that sent Stephon Marbury to the New York Knicks. Overall, it was the sixth straight loss for Phoenix.

Marcus Camby had 16 points and 17 rebounds for Denver, 23-16 for the first time since the 1985-86 season. Earl Boykins added 16 points, and Carmelo Anthony 13. Andre Miller had 11 points and 11 assists.

Jazz 97, Warriors 80

SALT LAKE CITY - Andrei Kirilenko had 10 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks as the Jazz improved to 16-3 at home and won for the third time in four games.

Raja Bell was one of three Utah reserves to finish in double figures, getting 15 points. Raul Lopez had 12 points and had five assists for the Jazz, whose reserves outscored the Warriors' bench 47-28. Sasha Pavlovic added 11 points for the Jazz.

Kings 90, Heat 86

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Peja Stojakovic scored 14 of his 24 points in the first quarter and the Sacramento Kings won their fifth straight at home.

Mike Bibby added 20 points for the NBA-leading Kings, including a clutch 3-pointer with 18 seconds left. Sacramento beat an Eastern Conference opponent at Arco Arena for the 28th straight time.

After Bibby's big shot, the sellout crowd began chanting, "Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!," referring to the Kings' final game of this three-game homestand Friday against the Lakers.

Clippers 103, Trail Blazers 96

LOS ANGELES - Eddie House hit a 3-pointer from the left baseline with 3.8 seconds left to send the game to overtime, and Corey Maggette scored 32 points as Clippers beat the Trail Blazers.

Elton Brand had 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Clippers, who beat Portland for only the sixth time in 28 meetings and extended the Trail Blazers' road losing streak against Western Conference teams to 13 games.

Damon Stoudamire scored 17 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter for Portland.



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