NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Houston
(Sunday, March 26)
Final Score: Cleveland 104, Houston 102 (OT)
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - LeBron James had a game-high 36 points and added six rebounds and five assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Houston Rockets, 104-102, in overtime at the Toyota Center.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 21 points and eight rebounds and Damon Jones added 22 points and six assists for the Cavaliers, who won their fifth straight game.
"Everybody has been executing and we found out how to do it down the stretch and pulled out a big win," said James.
Donyell Marshall added 12 points for Cleveland, which sits solidly in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Yao Ming led the Rockets, who have lost seven of their last eight games, with 27 points and seven boards and Rafer Alston added 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the loss.
The overtime started out 91-91 and was close early on, but Cleveland grabbed a 99-95 lead after a James dunk and a Marshall jumper with 2:01 left in the game.
Juwan Howard connected on two from the line with 57.2 seconds left, but Jones put in a driving layup to make it a 101-97 game with 37.8 seconds left.
After Alston drove the lane and put in a layup with 29.7 seconds remaining, James drew two defenders and got the ball to Ilgauskas all alone in front of the net. Ilgauskas slammed it home with 9.9 seconds to play.
After a timeout, Yao hit a jumper with 7.3 seconds to play. Jones was then fouled and connected on one of his two free throws to make it 104-101 with 5.4 seconds left.
The Cavaliers fouled Alston with 0.6 seconds left. He hit the first free throw and purposely missed the second, but the Rockets were unable to come down with the rebound and Cleveland escaped with the win.
Houston had a 13-point lead late in the third quarter, but Cleveland closed the gap and trailed 67-64 going into the final quarter.
Alston hit two from the line to give Houston a 87-86 lead with 1:39 to play. On the Cavaliers next possession, Ilgauskas drained a turnaround jumper with 53 seconds left, but Luther Head pulled up and drained a shot from the left side to make it 89-88 with 34.7 left in regulation.
Howard then made two free throws to give Houston a 91-88 lead with 25.4 left. But James was fouled on a layup attempt and he tied the game back up for his squad with 22 seconds left.
Yao had the ball as time was expiring and as he was trying to get into shooting position, James stripped him of the ball and the contest went to overtime.
"That was a pretty frustrating game," said Yao. "The whole game we were playing with a lot of intensity and a lot of effort."
The game started out with a tight opening 12 minutes and the Rockets took a 22-21 lead into the second and had a 47-45 lead heading into the locker room..
The Rockets started out the third quarter on fire and burst out with a 15-4 run to take a 62-49 lead when Howard put in a hook shot with four minutes to play. The Cavaliers, though, pulled themselves together and closed out the quarter with a 15-5 run and trailed 67-64 going into the final 12 minutes of play.
Cleveland hosts Dallas on Wednesday...The Rockets host Seattle on Wednesday...Houston had 16 turnovers compared to nine for Cleveland...The Rockets connected on 48.6 percent of their shots...Cleveland shot 43.2 percent from the floor.
03/26 22:20:39 ET