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Archive for Friday, November 19, 2004

James, Cavs bounce Bobcats, 106-89

November 19, 2004

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— LeBron James is expected to wow crowds, not opponents.

James stunned the Bobcats with three explosive dunks, including a windmill that broke the game open in the second quarter, to lead Cleveland to a 106-89 victory Thursday over Charlotte.

"What this game reminded me of was when Dr. J came into the league," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said, comparing James to Julius Erving. "He'd make a couple of plays, and everyone would stand around and watch. It seemed to me everybody came to watch LeBron, and that was inclusive of us."

James had 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds while helping Cleveland win its fifth consecutive game to move two games over .500 for the first time since 1999 -- James' freshman year in high school.

"That's great for us, we're in a great position," James said. "We lost three straight, and look at our record now, 5-3. It's better than 0-9, and it means we're doing something right."

The talk of the night was James' windmill dunk. He took a pass from Drew Gooden on the baseline, drove toward the basket and went airborne over all his defenders.

"I told you I can fly," he said. "I can fly for about 1.6 seconds, and then it's time to come back down."

The Bobcats lost their fifth straight, as well as their composure.

Gerald Wallace, who committed a flagrant foul against James at the start of the third quarter, was called for a second flagrant as he attempted to block Gooden's shot with 8:35 to play in the third.

Bickerstaff, who has complained about the lack of respect the Bobcats receive from officials, stormed onto the court in protest.

He was immediately hit with a technical foul, and when Wallace lost his cool and the assistant coaches had to focus on him, Bickerstaff got loose under the basket to continue his rant. He, too, was ejected.

The Cavaliers led 64-51 before the ejections, and pounced on Charlotte after it.

Jeff McInnis scored 18 points for Cleveland, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 16 and Ira Newble scored 11. Jason Kapono, a former Cavalier, led the Bobcats with 16 points.

Spurs 88, Sixers 80

Philadelphia -- Tim Duncan scored a season-high 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead San Antonio to its fifth straight victory.

Allen Iverson scored 24, Kyle Korver had 17, and Corliss Williamson added 15 for the Sixers, who set a dubious team record by scoring just six points in the first quarter.

Rasho Nesterovic had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili scored 17 for San Antonio, which had lost four in a row in Philadelphia since winning on Nov. 22, 1999. The Spurs improved to 7-1, their best start since 1991-92.

The Sixers, who trailed by 14 in the first half, took their first lead, 55-53, on a three-pointer by Korver with 3:14 left in the third. Philadelphia held the lead until the Spurs went on a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter.

Knicks 93, Rockets 92

Houston -- Jamal Crawford banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the New York Knicks to their first road win of the season.

Crawford finished with 19 points, going 5-of-11 from the three-point arc, and Kurt Thomas added 23 points and 14 rebounds to hand the Rockets their fourth loss in five games.

New York, which ends a four-game trip against Dallas on Friday, came back from an 11-point deficit to start the fourth quarter, getting plenty of clutch baskets from Crawford and Thomas down the stretch.

Tracy McGrady led the Rockets with 24 points and Yao Ming added 23 points and 11 rebounds.

McGrady missed a basket with 2.9 seconds left, and the Knicks rebounded to set up the final shot.

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