NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Cleveland
(Saturday, November 20th)
Final Score: Cleveland 100, Charlotte 84
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - LeBron James had 25 points and eight rebounds, while Jeff McInnis netted 24 points as red-hot Cleveland earned a 100-84 victory over Charlotte at Gund Arena.
Drew Gooden and Zydrunas Ilgauskas each posted double-doubles for the Cavaliers, who have won six straight following an 0-3 start. Gooden racked up 13 points and 10 boards and Ilgauskas finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
"Hopefully we can keep this thing rolling," said Cavs head coach Paul Silas. "If we can somehow come out of this month with a winning month, I think that would be great."
Gerald Wallace led the expansion Bobcats with 15 points, while Emeka Okafor and Keith Bogans each chipped in 13 for Charlotte, which has now lost six in a row.
The Cavaliers held a slim 48-47 lead at halftime but outscored the Bobcats 32-15 in the third quarter to take control of the game.
Cleveland opened up a 61-54 edge on Gooden's three-point play with 6:31 left in the third, but the Bobcats got to within four points when Bogans drained a long-distance shot on the following trip down the court. The Cavaliers then embarked on an 8-1 run, capped by James' fast-break layup and subsequent free throw, to claim a 69-58 advantage with 4:18 to go in the period.
Charlotte trimmed its deficit to 69-62 on Melvin Ely's jumper with just under three minutes left in the third, but Cleveland proceeded to score the final 11 points of the quarter, seven coming from McInnis, to grab a comfortable 18- point cushion by period's end.
"I thought our defense picked up in the second half," said Silas. "The first half we were a little too casual and we didn't come out to dominate. The second half we did."
The Cavaliers began the final quarter with five consecutive points, culminated when James was fouled after scoring with 9:34 to go. The reigning Rookie of the Year made the bonus shot to give Cleveland its largest margin at 85-62.
"Time after time, we have mental letdowns," said Wallace. "Teams make their run, then we're fighting the rest of the game to get back into it."
The Bobcats used an 18-3 spurt, capped by back-to-back baskets by Jason Kapono, to go up 25-14 late in the first quarter. Cleveland chipped away at the lead over the final 1 1/2 minutes of the stanza and cut it to 28-23 when James sank a jumper at the buzzer.
The Cavaliers then scored the first five points of the second quarter to pull even and the score remained close for the remainder of the first half. Cleveland went up 48-44 on DeSagana Diop's jumper with 50 seconds left before intermission, but a basket by Brevin Knight and a free throw from Okafor brought the Bobcats to within a point at the break.
McInnis has averaged 18.2 points during Cleveland's current win streak...The Cavaliers moved three games over .500 for the first time since January 2, 2001, when the club was 16-13...Charlotte's Jason Hart missed his third straight game with an ankle injury...The Cavs downed the Bobcats 106-89 in Charlotte on Friday.
11/20 23:13:39 ET