NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Cleveland
(Tuesday, January 11th)
Final Score: Cleveland 100, Charlotte 98 (OT)
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - LeBron James netted a game-high 29 points and Drew Gooden scored seven in overtime as the Cleveland Cavaliers won their fourth consecutive game with a 100-98 decision over the Charlotte Bobcats.
James also grabbed eight rebounds and handed out nine assists as Cleveland swept the season-series from the Bobcats, having already won three previous matchups.
Gooden packed seven of his 17 points into overtime and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who hit 10-of-10 free throws, finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
"We tried to limit (James') touches," Charlotte head coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "When he touches the ball, good things happen for his teammates. So, we basically tried to limit his touches."
Cleveland has now won seven of its last nine games.
Leading Charlotte, which has dropped two straight games, was Brevin Knight, who matched a career-high by dishing out 20 assists to go along with 15 points.
Gerald Wallace finished with 18 points, including three pretty alley oops, while Primoz Brezec, who netted eight points in the first quarter, also had 18 for Charlotte, which fell to 1-15 on the road this season.
"Of course, it's fun to get 20 assists," Knight said. "Guys were out on the break finishing tonight and having a good time. We had a good time as a team tonight. It didn't get us a win, so to me, I'll take two assists and take the win over 20 assists and a loss any day."
In overtime, Gooden sank three buckets, Ilgauskas hit two free throws and James drained a rainbow jumper to give Cleveland a two-point lead with 33 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing possession, the Cavs forced Charlotte into a shot clock violation, giving the ball back to Cleveland.
Charlotte fouled Gooden, who hit 1-of-2 free throws, but Ilgauskas got the offensive rebound and hit two free throws to seal the game.
Cleveland needed a 21-9 run in the fourth quarter to tie the score, 87-87, with less than a minute to play. Both teams had an opportunity to win the game, but the Cavs' Jeff McInnis and then the Bobcats' Keith Bogans missed jumpers and the teams headed to overtime.
"Again, all we can ask on the road is that you tempo the basketball game, you put yourself in a chance to win, added Bickerstaff. "We had a nice look, and we didn't get it done."
The Bobcats have lost nine of 11 and 13 of 17. They are also just 3-18 when they fail to score 100 points or more.
The first quarter started well for Charlotte as the Bobcats capitalized on poor shooting to jump out to an 8-2 lead early. After a Brezec tap in, the Bobcats led 18-13 with 2:30 remaining before ending the first frame ahead, 23-19.
Charlotte stretched its lead to as many as five in the quarter, but a James' three, a dunk by Aleksandar Pavlovic and a dunk by Robert Traylor capped a 10-0 Cavs' run as Cleveland went into intermission leading 45-42.
The Bobcats took it to the Cavs in the third quarter, outscoring Cleveland 32-19 while stretching their lead to a game-high 10 points to enter the fourth quarter ahead 74-64, but Cleveland rallied in the fourth and won it in overtime.
After wrapping up a three-game homestand, Cleveland will hit the road for six consecutive games...The Cavaliers have won five of six and 14 of its last 16 home games and is 14-3 in its arena this season...Entering the game, James has enjoyed tremendous success against the Bobcats, posting 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists in three prior meetings with Charlotte...The Bobcats have lost nine of 11 and 13 of 17...Charlotte fell to just 3-19 on the year when it fails to score 100 points or more...Charlotte has dropped five straight on the road...Cleveland guard Dajuan Wagner, who was diagnosed with an inflamed large intestine, will remain hospitalized and is out indefinitely.
01/11 23:50:05 ET