NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Charlotte
(Sunday, April 2nd)
Final Score: Cleveland 101, Charlotte 97
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - LeBron James scored 35 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out eight assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers held off the Charlotte Bobcats, 101-97.
"Guys are ready to play and it's playoff time and we're finding ways to win," said James. "We're close to clinching the fourth seed. We'll keep playing the way we've been playing and continue to get wins."
Ronald Murray and Drew Gooden each chipped in 16 points, while Donyell Marshall scored 13 points and snatched nine boards for the Cavaliers, who hold a 6 1/2 game cushion over Washington for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 12 points and nine rebounds for Cleveland, who tied a season-high with its eighth straight win.
Raymond Felton scored a team-high 20 points while Jumaine Jones totaled 18 points and eight rebounds and Gerald Wallace added 17 points and nine boards for the Bobcats, who have now lost five of their last six games.
"Sometimes the basketball just doesn't fall and tonight was one of those nights," said Felton. "It's frustrating but at the same time if it ain't falling it ain't falling."
The Cavs took a six-point lead into the final 12 minutes, and enlarged it to 10, 94-84, with 3:54 to play as Ilgauskas tipped home a Gooden miss.
However, the Bobcats did not go away as they embarked on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to two with 1:52 left. Wallace capped the surge as he took a lob pass from Felton and laid it in on the run, drawing a foul in the process and converting the free-throw to make the score 94-92.
With 33.2 seconds to play, James was sent to the foul line and hit 1-of-2 to give Cleveland a 97-94 lead. On the ensuing possession, Wallace drove the lane and missed a tough runner over Anderson Varejao. James corralled the rebound and was sent to the line, where he hit both freebies to ice the game.
Cleveland held a five-point edge, 28-23, after one frame as James scored 15 points in the quarter, including the final 12 for the Cavaliers over a five minute span.
The lead extended to 11, the largest of the first half, on a Varejao layup with 8:24 to play in the second quarter. However, Charlotte responded by scoring the next seven points as Wallace started the run with a layup and then a dunk. The Cavaliers took a 53-49 lead into the locker room.
The Cavaliers held the lead throughout the entire third quarter, extending to as many as nine. However, an 8-0 run pulled the Bobcats to within one, 69-68, as Bernard Robinson sank two free-throws to cap the run.
Cleveland is now 7-0 all time against Charlotte...The Cavaliers hit 48.1 percent of their shots, while the Bobcats connected on 40 percent from the floor...Cleveland won despite turning the ball over 20 times, compared to 12 for Charlotte...The Cavaliers owned the boards as they outrebounded the Bobcats 49-34.
04/02 21:47:16 ET