Cavs notch road victory over Knicks

N.Y. fans turn on hapless team as Ilgauskas leads Cleveland

Posted: Monday, February 23, 2004

NEW YORK - LBJ at MSG was A-OK for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

LeBron James scored 22 points in his first game at Madison Square Garden, where the fans turned on the home team Sunday as the New York Knicks fell behind by 23 points in the fourth quarter of a 92-86 loss.

Whether they were booing or chanting the name of the departed Keith Van Horn, the matinee crowd let it be known that they weren't happy seeing the Knicks play so poorly.

"That's cold," Cavs guard Jeff McInnis said.

"That's crazy," James said.

Whether it was cold, crazy or both, the voice of the crowd spoke volumes about the rapidly deteriorating fortunes of the Knicks, who lost for the fourth time in five games and now embark on a four-game Western road trip.

James didn't have his flashiest or most productive game, stepping aside to let center Zydrunas Ilgauskas carry most of the offensive load.

Ilgauskas scored Cleveland's first eight points of the fourth quarter, having his way against newly acquired backup center Nazr Mohammed, as the Cavs opened the final period with an 8-1 run to go ahead 78-56.

"What can I say?" Ilgauskas said. "It was one of those days where the hoop looked like a swimming pool."

New York had a 26-7 run to pull within four, but it wasn't enough.

Ilgauskas had 31 points and 15 rebounds, Carlos Boozer added 14 points and 17 rebounds and McInnis scored 13 points.

Stephon Marbury shot just 4-for-21 in the first three quarters and finished 13-for-34 for 30 points, while Penny Hardaway shot 2-for-13 and Tim Thomas - the main player acquired a week earlier in the trade that sent Van Horn to Milwaukee - had a quiet 10 points.

"Our chemistry isn't where it was four games ago. We have to get back there," Knicks coach Lenny Wilkens said.

It was 81-58 with 7:06 remaining when James implored his teammates "C'mon, let's take 'em out." The Cavs wouldn't score again until 2:53 remained, but it made no difference as New York - suddenly a struggling offensive team - couldn't close the entire gap.

"When you're up by 23 points, you look at the clock and wonder why it's going so slow," James said. "We closed it out. We won."

The game began to get away from the Knicks late in the second quarter when they failed to score on seven of their final eight possessions. Cleveland led 44-40 at the break behind 18 points and 11 rebounds from Ilgauskas.

Ilgauskas' three-point play capped an 11-4 run to open the third quarter, putting the Cavs ahead 55-44, and Cleveland maintained an 11-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

The booing increased as the Knicks scored just one point on their first seven possessions of the quarter, and the Van Horn chant began as Othella Harrington stepped to the foul line with 9:26 remaining.

"When you lose, what can you expect?" Tim Thomas said. "When we get back on a winning track, it'll be different. They're frustrated just like we as players are frustrated."

Rockets 123, Hawks 121, 3 OT

HOUSTON - Yao Ming scored a career-high 41 points, including eight in the last of three overtimes, to help the Rockets win the NBA's longest game since the 2000-01 season.

Cuttino Mobley added 28 points, and Steve Francis had 16, including nine in the overtimes. Jason Terry led Atlanta with 27 points, and Stephen Jackson added 24.

In the third overtime, Yao scored Houston's first six points, but Jim Jackson tied it with one of two free throws with 47 seconds remaining, and Bob Sura scored with 37 seconds to go to give the Hawks a 122-120 lead. Yao then hit a short jumper with 23 seconds left and Mobley made one of two free throws with 8 seconds to play.

Houston also won the NBA's last three-overtime game, beating visiting Indiana 127-118 on March 13, 2001.

Kings 96, Raptors 81

TORONTO - Peja Stojakovic scored 27 points and Mike Bibby had 21 to lead Sacramento past short-handed Toronto for their sixth win in seven games.

Bibby had 18 points in the second half for Kings, who were without injured center Brad Miller, suspended forward Chris Webber and injured guard Bobby Jackson.

Chris Bosh had 20 points for the Raptors, who tied a season-high with their fifth straight loss. Toronto is in danger of falling out of the playoff race after losing Vince Carter and Jalen Rose to injuries.

Spurs 94, Timberwolves 92

MINNEAPOLIS - Tony Parker had 26 points, and Tim Duncan made 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter to finish with 25 points and help the Spurs snap Minnesota's five-game winning streak and pull to within three games of the Timberwolves in the Midwest Division.

Hedo Turkoglu had 13 points - all in the second half - and a career-high 14 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili added 11 points for San Antonio. Duncan, a notoriously bad free-throw shooter, helped win the game by making three of four free throws in the final 18.1 seconds.

Pacers 94, Jazz 80

INDIANAPOLIS - Jermaine O'Neal had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks to help the Indiana Pacers pull away in the fourth quarter.

O'Neal shot just 4-of-10 from the field but hit 13-of-15 free throws as the Pacers repeatedly went inside in the second half and won for the fifth time in six games. Al Harrington, starting in place of the injured Ron Artest, scored 14 points, and reserves Austin Croshere and Jonathan Bender added 15 and 11, respectively.

Bucks 113, Wizards 85

WASHINGTON - Michael Redd scored 25 points to help Milwaukee snap a seven-game road losing streak.

Keith Van Horn, playing his second game since the three-way trade that brought him from New York, came off the bench to score 13 points in the Bucks' first road win since Jan. 5.

Magic 87, Pistons 86

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Juwan Howard's three-point play with 3.5 seconds left lifted Orlando past Detroit.

Detroit had the ball and the lead with 10 seconds left, but Tracy McGrady stole the ball from Chauncey Billups, and Howard was able to fight off Richard Hamilton to hit the tying layup. Howard then hit the free throw to put the Magic ahead.

Rasheed Wallace missed at the buzzer for the Pistons, who have lost eight of nine.

Lakers 104, Suns 92

PHOENIX - Kobe Bryant scored 16 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter, helping give the Lakers their first four-game winning streak since December.

Bryant also had a team-high seven rebounds and five assists, Gary Payton scored 20 points, and Shaquille O'Neal added 19 for the Lakers in their sixth victory in seven games.

SuperSonics 108, Celtics 87

SEATTLE - Rashard Lewis scored 28 points, hitting six 3-pointers, in the SuperSonics' first victory since the All-Star break.

Ray Allen added 20 points and 10 assists for Seattle, which was 18-of-33 from 3-point range. Paul Pierce had 34 points for Boston. The Celtics have lost six straight to drop to 1-11 under interim coach John Carroll.



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