CLEVELAND - LeBron James took his game outside, and he wasn't cold at all.
James scored 17 points - all on jumpers beyond 16 feet - and Chris Mihm had 19, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 94-80 win Monday night over the listless New York Knicks.
The one rap on James was that the rookie couldn't shoot from the perimeter, but the 6-foot-8 point guard showed nice range in draining seven outside shots, including all three of his 3-point attempts.
"Every day in practice I go into the gym and I hear those voices that say I can't shoot," said James, who came in just 2-for-12 on 3-pointers. "I just keep working at it. I know they're going to fall for me, and tonight they did."
James didn't attempt his first shot that wasn't a jumper until he missed a finger roll from 4 feet with 3:09 remaining.
Since training camp opened, James has spent extra time working on a flawed outside shot that looks better with nearly every attempt. He's no longer fading backward, a bad habit he developed in high school, and his shot has gotten softer.
"This didn't happen by chance," Cavs coach Paul Silas said. "We've worked on it, and he's willing to put the time in. "
James swished his first four jumpers - two 3-pointers - as the Cavaliers bolted to a 13-0 lead before building a 22-point lead in the first half.
Ricky Davis added 16 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in just three quarters for the Cavaliers, who have won two straight following an 0-5 start.
Juneau-Douglas High School alum Carlos Boozer had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 13 points for Cleveland. The Cavs won two straight just once all last season when it went an NBA-worst 17-65.
"Everybody is so focused right now, it's like I'm back in high school," James said. "Everybody is getting the shots they want and they're falling for us."
Allan Houston scored 22 points on 9-of-25 shooting and Kurt Thomas had 14 points for the Knicks, who have dropped five in a row to Cleveland and nine of their last 10 at Gund Arena.
Knicks coach Don Chaney was upset with his team's defensive effort.
"We played scared," he said. "We respected their speed too much and we didn't get into guarding guys. We played afraid and I don't know why."
Houston, averaging 31 points in his last four games, scored the Knicks' final seven points as New York closed the third quarter with a 17-7 run to pull to 74-65.
But after missing nine straight shots, the Cavaliers finally found their stroke as James hit three more jumpers, the final one a 3-pointer from the right wing to cap an 11-2 run that put the Knicks away.
Grizzlies 105, Lakers 95
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Shane Battier's four-point play with 1:58 left ended the Lakers' last comeback attempt, helping Memphis to a victory over turnover-prone Los Angeles.
The Lakers were uncommonly sloppy, committing turnovers on eight consecutive possessions early in the third quarter to let the game get away from them.
Kobe Bryant scored nine straight fourth-quarter points as the Lakers pulled to 97-89, but Battier hit a 3-pointer from the corner and was fouled by Bryant.
The Grizzlies left the floor to a standing ovation after handing the Lakers their second straight loss and defeating them for just the third time in 32 tries in franchise history.
Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Lorenzen Wright and Posey scored 15 apiece for Memphis.
Bryant scored 19 and Shaquille O'Neal had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers on the final stop of a four-game road trip. Bryant and Karl Malone each had six of the Lakers' 23 turnovers.
Spurs 87, Jazz 78
SAN ANTONIO - Tim Duncan returned to the lineup to score 18 points and grab 10 rebounds, and San Antonio honored former star David Robinson by retired his No. 50 in a postgame ceremony.
Duncan, who missed three games with a sprained left ankle, helped the Spurs beat the Jazz for the 14th straight time. Manu Ginobili added 18 points for the NBA champions.
Matt Harpring led Utah with 11 points.
Nuggets 105, Bulls 97
CHICAGO - Tiny Earl Boykins came up with the biggest shot, hitting a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left to lead Denver.
Boykins finished with 14 points and nine assists. Rookie Carmelo Anthony had yet another big night, scoring 26 points and adding eight rebounds and three assists. Eddy Curry led the Bulls with 20 points.
Suns 99, Warriors 96
OAKLAND, Calif. - Stephon Marbury and Joe Johnson each had 22 points in Phoenix's first road victory of the season.
Amare Stoudemire added 15 points and 18 rebounds for Phoenix.
Golden State's Jason Richardson had 22 points and nine rebounds, leading his team in scoring for the third straight game after serving a three-game suspension for assaulting his former girlfriend.
© 2018. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us