NBA Game Summary - Houston at Cleveland
(Sunday, December 27th)
Final Score: Cleveland 108, Houston 83
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - LeBron James helped ignite a big run to begin the third quarter, scoring the first eight Cleveland points and the final three, as the Cavaliers ran away from the Houston Rockets, 108-83, at Quicken Loans Arena.
James finished with 29 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Cavs, who outscored Houston, 32-15, in the third quarter to grab their fourth straight win. Mo Williams added 20 points, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 12 in the victory.
Shaquille O'Neal provided 13 points and 11 boards in Cleveland's ninth win in its last 10 games.
Aaron Brooks scored 23 points to pace the Rockets, who had won four of five and defeated Cleveland when the teams met in Houston on December 9. Trevor Ariza and Carl Landry each had 11 points in defeat.
"We hit a wall tonight," Brooks said. "They (Cavs) hit shots, we didn't and those things happen. LeBron came down and hit a couple of threes and, Mo hit a couple of threes, Shaq was Shaq in the middle, and it seemed like in the third quarter, we couldn't stop the bleeding."
Holding a three-point lead at halftime, the Cavaliers began the third with a dominating 22-6 run, leaving the Rockets behind by a 73-54 score. James had half of the 22 points, scoring the first eight on 3-of-3 shooting and finishing it with a three-point play just inside the seven-minute mark.
"It was important. (In) a game like tonight, you definitely don't want a team to hang around coming off a back-to-back even though they are as good as they are," James said. "Mo and I definitely came out aggressively on the offensive end and knocked down some threes. We just turned the game around."
Houston did not put together a run to cut into its large deficit and trailed, 83-63, heading to the fourth quarter after a James floater at the buzzer.
Delonte West's jumper midway through the final period gave Cleveland a 95-70 lead, and the hosts cruised from there.
Ariza led all players with eight points in the first quarter, and each team scored 24 points in the opening 12 minutes.
The margin remained within six in a tightly contested second quarter, and Williams drained a three in the final moments to send the Cavs into the locker room with a 51-48 advantage.
Cleveland improved to 12-2 at home, while the Rockets fell to 10-9 on the road...Houston shot 32.9 percent from the field, making as many field goals (25) as free throws. The Cavs shot 47.3 percent...Cleveland outscored the Rockets, 52-16, in the paint and outrebounded Houston, 53-37.
12/28 02:32:27 ET