NBA Game Summary - Boston at Cleveland
(Tuesday, November 22nd)
Final Score: Cleveland 115, Boston 93
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - LeBron James poured in 36 points, 20 of which came in the second half, and Cleveland ran its winning streak to eight games with a 115-93 victory over Boston at Quicken Loans Arena.
Larry Hughes contributed 25 points and seven rebounds while Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 19 for the Cavaliers, whose current tear is the franchise's longest since winning 10 in a row from November 21-December 11, 1997. Drew Gooden racked up 13 points and 15 rebounds in the triumph.
"Right now we aren't feeling like we have to lose to anyone," said Hughes. "We don't feel like we should lose. This is our mentality that is trickling down to everyone."
Ricky Davis delivered 27 points while Paul Pierce had 24 along with 15 boards in the defeat, the Celtics' third in four games. Mark Blount finished with a season-high 21 points for the visitors.
Cleveland jumped out to an early 7-2 lead and extended the margin to 18-7 near the midway point of the first quarter after Ilgauskas converted a three-point play and Hughes dunked off a Gooden feed. After Blount scored for the Celtics on the other end, the Cavaliers reeled off six straight points and went up 23-9 when Hughes buried a long jumper with 4:33 to go in the period.
Boston responded with an 8-1 spurt to pull within seven and would trail 27-18 at the end of one quarter.
Cleveland would start to pull away in the second. After Gooden threw down a jam, James was fouled when driving the lane and scoring. He sank the ensuing bonus shot to give the hosts a comfortable 44-28 advantage with 6 1/2 minutes left in the half.
"If he was selfish, he could have had 50 (points) tonight," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "The guy is in the third year of his career. To be able to understand the game, and the way he understands the game at this age, is phenomenal. He should coach."
The Celtics closed the gap to 10 on Davis' fastbreak dunk with 4:28 remaining before intermission, and a Pierce three-pointer followed by Davis' jumper one minute later cut the deficit to 50-43. The Cavs would enter the break with a 58-51 lead.
Pierce topped all players with 17 first-half points and eight boards, while James and Hughes netted 16 and 15 points, respectively, for Cleveland.
Boston drew within two points in the third quarter when Orien Greene tipped in a Davis miss and Davis drained a three-pointer to make the score 74-72 with just over four minutes left in the frame.
James then took over, scoring all the points during the Cavaliers' 10-1 run to end the quarter. His three-pointer at the buzzer sent Cleveland into the final 12 minutes up 84-73.
"They made a run in the third quarter, and I thought it was time for me to start attacking," said James.
Pierce opened the fourth quarter with a trey, but Boston would not get the margin under single digits the rest of the way. While the Celtics missed their next five shots, Hughes hit two free throws and James made a runner with 10 minutes remaining to extend the lead to 88-76.
The Cavs ended the game with a 13-2 burst to pull away.
Cleveland guard Damon Jones left the game early in the second quarter when he sprained his left ankle while stepping around Davis...Boston's Delonte West suffered a left hip contusion late in the third after colliding with the Cavs' Mike Wilks...The Cavaliers improved to 6-0 at home, while the Celtics fell to 0-3 on the road...During its current win streak, Cleveland has an average margin of victory of 15.5 points.
11/22 23:00:19 ET