NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Portland
(Wednesday, January 19th)
Final Score: Cleveland 107, Portland 101
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - LeBron James netted 27 points and became the youngest player in NBA history to register a triple-double as Cleveland downed Portland, 107-101, at the Rose Garden.
James, who celebrated his 20th birthday 20 days ago, pulled down 10 rebounds and dished out 10 assists to propel the Cavaliers to their sixth win in eight games. Zydrunas Ilgauskas racked up 21 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland, which had lost two of its first three on its current six-game road trip.
"It feels great," said James. "It's not the statistics, it's the win. To come into an environment like this and get a win, that's great."
Drew Gooden added 15 points while Eric Snow contributed a season-best 13 off the bench in the win.
Nick Van Exel scored 28 points and Damon Stoudamire put up 27 for the slumping Trail Blazers, who have dropped five in a row and nine of 10. Both players made five three-pointers on the night.
Rookie James Thomas grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in the loss.
Cleveland trailed by six points early in the second quarter, but outscored the Trail Blazers 25-6 over a seven-plus minute stretch to take control.
With the Cavaliers behind 32-26, Lucious Harris started an 11-0 spurt with two straight jumpers, the last coming from three-point range, as the visitors grabbed a 37-32 lead with nine minutes to go in the half. Cleveland was up 41-35 before embarking on a 10-3 run, highlighted by a pair of triples by Snow, to extend the margin to 13 points less than five minutes before intermission.
Portland scored the last six points of the second quarter to get within striking distance. A three-point play from Ruben Patterson with 2:31 to go cut the deficit to eight and Van Exel capped a tremendous first half with a short runner at the 1:15 mark put the Blazers down 55-49 at the break. Van Exel poured in 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting during the opening 24 minutes.
The Cavs regained the momentum in the initial stages of the second half. Gooden began the third quarter with consecutive buckets and James threw down a thunderous slam off a steal for a 61-49 lead with 3 1/2 minutes gone by in the frame.
"LeBron took over in the second half doing the things he does, like rebounding and getting into the open court," said Portland head coach Maurice Cheeks. "He took the game over."
Gooden recorded five points during a 7-0 flurry which ended with a transition basket by James as Cleveland's advantage grew to 74-57 heading into the final four minutes of the third quarter. Portland ended the period strong and drew to within 76-66 on Stoudamire's three-pointer with under a minute to go. However, Jeff McInnis answered with a trey on the other end for a 13-point bulge as the quarter came to a close.
The Cavaliers then reeled off the first six points of the final period to go up 85-66 with 10:19 remaining.
Portland made a mild rally late, as another long-distance basket by Stoudamire followed by two made free throws from Derek Anderson made it a 95-87 game with just under four minutes to go. James then buried a trey to push the lead back to double digits and Ilgauskas later sealed the win with a three-point play which made the score 103-91 with 1:19 left.
"(James') game was so smooth tonight that you couldn't even tell." said McInnis about the triple-double. "That's how it's supposed to be."
Van Exel's jumper at the first quarter buzzer gave Portland a 29-26 edge after one period and Stoudamire lengthened the cushion to six points with a three- pointer to start the second.
Lamar Odom was previously the youngest to record a triple-double, doing so during the 1999-00 season at 20 years, 54 days old...Portland center Theo Ratliff did not return to the court after halftime due to a stomach virus. He started but played just one minute after picking up two quick fouls...The Blazers were again without leading scorer Zach Randolph, who missed his fourth straight game with a strained knee...The Trail Blazers finished 12-of-23 from three-point range...Portland had defeated the Cavaliers in their last five visits to the Rose Garden...Both teams played in retro uniforms, the Blazers' being from their inaugural campaign of 1970-71 while Cleveland donned those from 1975-76.
01/20 02:00:26 ET