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86
Final 1234Score
Washington1324212886
Cleveland2622302098
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98


NBA Game Summary - Washington at Cleveland



(Wednesday, April 8th)

Final Score: Cleveland 98, Washington 86

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - LeBron James finished with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds, as Cleveland downed Washington, 98-86, to continue its push to secure the best record in the Eastern Conference and NBA.

Cleveland improved to 63-15 this season and remained four games ahead of Boston for the top spot in the East with four games to play. The Celtics beat New Jersey on Wednesday. Additionally, the Cavaliers moved one full game ahead of the idle Lakers (62-16) for the NBA's best record.

Mo Williams added 14 points for Cleveland, which improved to 38-1 at Quicken Loans Arena this season, setting a franchise record for home wins. The Cavaliers lost their only game as the host on February 8 against the Lakers, and have since won 15 in a row at home.

"It's great. What we've been able to do at home is unbelievable," James said. "It's something that we'll be able to talk about long after we're done playing the game of basketball."

Delonte West had 13 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas ended with 13 rebounds and seven points in the win, the Cavaliers' second in a row. Cleveland also saw the return of center Ben Wallace, who hadn't played since February 26 because of a fractured right fibula and finished with seven points.

"It felt good to be back out there with my teammates," Wallace said. "It's tough sitting on that sideline and watching, regardless of what's going on."

Nick Young had 16 points off the bench to pace Washington, which, despite holding one of the worst records in the NBA (18-61), is one of four teams to have defeated Cleveland twice this season -- joining Boston, Orlando and the Lakers.

However, the Wizards couldn't notch a third against the Cavs as their starting five netted only 36 points. Andray Blatche finished with 14 points and six rebounds off the bench for Washington, which has lost two in a row.

"You sometimes look for the answer in the wrong place, so you might look at what was wrong with us," Wizards head coach Ed Tapscott said. "And, I might shift the focus to what was right with them. I thought their defense was very good. I think they loaded up very effectively against us, and they took away some of our driving lanes. And, we got impatient. So, as much as I would put the blame on us, I give them credit for doing what they did extremely well in taking away a lot of the things we wanted to do."

Cleveland scored eight consecutive points to take control in the first quarter. West began the stretch with a pair of baskets, Wally Szczerbiak added a jumper and Daniel Gibson ended the run with a jumper of his own and a 22-10 Cavaliers lead.

They went into the second quarter leading 26-13, though Washington trimmed its deficit to six with five minutes to go in the half -- Young and Blatche poured in back-to-back buckets to get the Wizards within 36-30.

But Gibson countered with two consecutive three-pointers, and Cleveland went into the break with a 48-37 advantage.

Javaris Crittenton started the third quarter with a layup for the Wizards, but the Cavs broke the game apart with an 11-0 surge. Ilgauskas had four points, and West closed out the run with a pair of free throws to make it a 59-39 contest.

Cleveland held the lead throughout the third and led 78-58 going into the fourth. The Cavs cruised the rest of the way, holding a double-digit lead the remainder of the game.

Game Notes

Crittenton and Caron Butler led Washington's starters with 11 and 10 points, respectively...Cleveland Cavaliers rookie forward J.J. Hickson will be out the next two-to-three weeks due to a stress reaction in his lower back. Hickson has been experiencing some recent back pain and he had an MRI exam Wednesday morning, which revealed the stress reaction...Cleveland forward Forward Anderson Varejao (10 points, seven rebounds) returned after missing the previous game due to a bruised wrist.

04/09 00:37:49 ET


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