NBA Game Summary - Portland at Cleveland
(Monday, March 10th)
Final Score: Cleveland 88, Portland 80
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - LeBron James scored 24 points, dished out 11 assists and hauled in 10 rebounds to record his seventh triple-double of the season and lead the Cleveland Cavaliers in an 88-80 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Joe Smith added 18 points for the Cavs, who have won five of their last six and presently occupy the No. 4 postseason spot in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland holds a two-game advantage on Toronto for that position, as the Raptors were idle Monday.
Anderson Varejao gave 16 points and nine boards, while Delonte West had 10 points in the win. Cleveland forward Ben Wallace left the game at half with back spasms, and was shooting 0-for-4 before his departure.
LaMarcus Aldridge recorded a game-high 25 points and 10 boards for the Blazers, who have dropped three of their last five contests and currently trail Golden State by seven games for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Brandon Roy had 15 points in defeat.
The clubs exchanged buckets and the Cavs' lead alternated from three to one, until a James three-pointer and 1-of-2 performance from the line made it 79-74 with four minutes to play.
When the Blazers cut the lead down to 79-77, Smith's two free throws made it a four-point game and a Varejao dunk essentially put the game away at 83-77 with 76 ticks left on the clock.
On the Blazers' ensuing possession, James came up with a huge strip that led to a Wally Szczerbiak jumper from just inside the arc. The points served as the backbreaker, 85-77, with 42.4 left to play.
"LeBron obviously was phenomenal with the triple-double," Cleveland head coach Mike Brown said. "We had a big game from him. Anderson stepped up and played big on both ends of the floor especially late in that second half when he started to front Aldridge and not allow him to catch the ball."
Portland's Martell Webster grabbed 10 boards in the loss.
Two baskets from Aldridge set the tone for a 12-2 Portland run to begin the game. A Steve Blake-to-Joel Przybilla alley-oop closed the scoring with 7:18 still left in the opening stanza.
The Blazers parlayed that spurt into a 25-14 lead after 12 minutes of play.
The Cavs battled back to cut their deficit to 43-39 at the break.
Four points from Aldridge and a three from Webster opened a 53-45 Portland lead with just under 8 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
West answered with a jumper that served as the catalyst for an 8-3 run, pulling Cleveland within 56-53. James scored the final six points of the surge.
The teams traded buckets and found themselves knotted at 62 heading into the final frame.
A pair of Travis Outlaw jumpers tied the game at 67 with 8:20 left in regulation.
"They did a great job of executing down the stretch," Roy said. "We tried to do some things to take the ball out of LeBron's hands, but he did a good job of getting it to his teammates and they made plays. When they play well off him, they're a tough team to stop down the stretch."
The Cavs recorded their sixth straight win at home...Cleveland has won four of the last eight meetings...The teams combined to shoot 11-of-35 from behind the arc.
03/11 00:50:08 ET