James, Boozer carry Cavs past Wizards

LeBron scores career-high 38, Carlos posts his 19th double-double of season

Posted: Monday, February 02, 2004

WASHINGTON - LeBron James had his own Super Sunday.

The Cleveland Cavaliers' No. 1 overall draft pick did it all, good and bad. He scored a career-high 38 points and got his first NBA technical foul in Sunday's 104-100 victory over the Washington Wizards.

"I was feeling it," he said. "My teammates kept feeding me the ball, and I was able to get the shots I wanted."

James' line in the box score was a mouthful. He went 14-for-27 from the field, 9-for-11 from the free-throw line and had six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and six turnovers. He also committed three offensive fouls and made four three-point plays, including three during his 19-point third quarter when the Cleveland took the lead for good.

"He carried the load," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "He is one heck of a player, and that's what this league is made of - star players carrying their team."

James' technical came with 3:02 to play and the Cavaliers leading comfortably. He looked unhappy when he didn't draw a foul while trying to put back an offensive rebound, then flung his headband into the crowd.

"I didn't say nothing," James said. "I just threw my headband into the crowd, and he gave me a T."

Carlos Boozer's game was nearly as impressive. The 1999 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate had 21 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Cavaliers, who improved to 5-20 on the road and have won six of their last eight. Cleveland got its 18th victory, surpassing its win total from last season, despite committing 24 turnovers.

Washington's Jerry Stackhouse, activated from the injured list, scored 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting - including a pair of air balls - in his first game this season. Stackhouse had knee surgery Oct. 21.

Rookie Jarvis Hayes scored 20 points to lead the Wizards, who fell to 2-3 in a seven-game homestand. Jordan responded with some of his most critical remarks of the season, saying his players didn't match Cleveland's hard work and grit.

"We're trying to change a losing culture here, and it's not easy," Jordan said. "We're taking baby steps. We're having setbacks, and we're going to keep plugging it."

Jordan said change is needed "everywhere" in a franchise that hasn't won a playoff game in 16 years.

"The people have to change, or you have to change the people," Jordan said.

The talk of both locker rooms was James, and the calls he did and didn't get. He was fortunate not to get a fourth offensive foul when he stuck his right arm in Stackhouse's chest on a drive early in the fourth quarter. Stackhouse was called for the foul, and an incensed Jordan was quickly on the court, drawing a technical.

After that, the calls seem to go against James.

"This is a man's league, and sometimes you ain't going to get the foul," Cleveland coach Paul Silas said. "I know we've got a teenager playing in it, but, hey, you see his body and you'll think he's a man."

Added James: "We are professionals here. Hopefully I'll keep getting respect. I know my rookie year I'm going to get a little bit. But I keep gaining it, keep playing my basketball, and keep winning."

James led the Cavaliers to a 14-point lead going into the fourth quarter. The Wizards never got closer than double digits until the game's final minute, when a stream of turnovers - including a bad pass by James - helped Washington finish the game with a 20-9 run.

James made seven of 10 shots in the third quarter, giving him another chance to compare himself with Michael Jordan.

"I wear No. 23 for a reason," James said, "so I guess that's what he felt like when he used to heat up."

Timberwolves 106, 76ers 101

MINNEAPOLIS - Kevin Garnett had 32 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, helping rally the Minnesota Timberwolves from an 18-point deficit for their biggest comeback of the season in a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Garnett scored eight points and Sam Cassell added nine of his 29 to account for all of Minnesota's scoring in the last five minutes. The Timberwolves shot 22-for-22 from the line and erased an 18-point first-half deficit.

Allen Iverson scored 28 points and Glenn Robinson had 27 for the Sixers, who are 3-9 since their last two-game winning streak.

Minnesota trailed for three quarters but the lead changed hands 17 times in the final period. The Sixers missed three free throws in the final 3:03.

Eric Snow missed an open baseline jumper with Philadelphia trailing 100-99, and Cassell - 10-for-10 from the line - made two free throws to push the lead to three.

Iverson's layup with 11.6 seconds left cut the lead to 102-101. Cassell added two free throws and Iverson's long 3-point attempt to tie came up well short.

Latrell Sprewell added 21 points for Minnesota, which won its 12th straight at home.

Lakers 84, Raptors 83

TORONTO - Shaquille O'Neal scored 36 points to help the Los Angeles Lakers win to start their longest road trip in 12 years.

Vince Carter had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but Rick Fox and Gary Payton converged on him as he drove to the basket. Carter threw up the ball, thinking he had been fouled but official Luis Grillo did not call one.

O'Neal also didn't agree with some calls down the stretch, and used profanities in a postgame interview with Los Angeles-based KCAL-TV to show his frustration.

Payton added 14 points for the Lakers, who are in the midst of playing seven road games in 11 days - their longest trip since 1991-92. Carter had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Donyell Marshall had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors.



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