NBA Game Summary - New Orleans at Cleveland
(Sunday, December 26th)
Final Score: Cleveland 100, New Orleans 91
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - LeBron James scored 22 points and came one rebound shy of his first career triple double, as the Cleveland Cavaliers fought off the pesky New Orleans Hornets, 100-91.
James added nine rebounds and a career-high 14 assists for the Cavaliers, who ended the game with a 19-4 run to capture a much-needed win. Cleveland had lost three of four coming into this one, but improved to 11-2 at Gund Arena.
"We needed to get this game," said Drew Gooden, who had 18 points and a game- high 18 rebounds. "It was a heartbreaker losing to New Jersey in our last game."
In that contest, James was whistled for two traveling violations and drew a technical foul late in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's 92-90 loss to the Nets. He also allowed Richard Jefferson to get loose to make an alley-oop layup off an inbounds pass for the game-winner with less than a second remaining.
The Cavaliers made sure this one would end differently down the stretch. New Orleans grabbed an 87-81 lead with 5:54 left in the game on a Dan Dickau field goal.
But Jeff McInnis had eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, and his three-pointer with 1:29 left put the Cavaliers up 95-89.
After two P.J. Brown free throws got the Hornets within 95-91, Eric Snow hit his first three-pointer of the season with a minute left that gave Cleveland a 98-91 advantage, and ended the suspense.
The Cavaliers led 53-42 at the intermission, thanks in large part to James. He had 11 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, two steals and a blocked shot in 21 first-half minutes
The Hornets began the second half with a 14-0 run to take a 56-53 lead, capped by two Lee Nailon free throws with 9:05 left in the third quarter. But Cleveland answered with a 16-4 run, punctuated by an Anderson Verejao steal and slam, to take a 69-60 lead with 3:27 left. When the quarter ended, the Cavaliers were clinging to a 73-71 advantage.
Nailon hit two free throws with 10:36 left in the game to cap a 12-0 run that gave New Orleans a 76-73 lead, setting the stage for the Cavaliers' huge rally.
McInnis added 10 assists for the Cavaliers, while Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 11 points.
Nailon paced the Hornets with 18 points, while David Wesley added 14. The Hornets are losers of five straight. Baron Davis added 14 points and was 4- for-7 from behind the arc, as the Hornets stayed in it by going 8-for-17 from three-point range. Matt Freije added career highs with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Snow was 0-for-10 from long range prior to the last-minute trey...The Hornets have lost 12 straight in the visitor's role...Dickau tied a season high with seven assists.
12/26 22:17:56 ET