CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 18 (Ticker) --
Even when he's more
focused on sharing, LeBron James
continues to help the Cleveland
Cavaliers win big.
James scored a season-low 19 points but dished out a season-high
nine assists to lift the Cavaliers to their fifth consecutive
win, a 106-89 triumph over the reeling Charlotte Bobcats, who
have lost five straight.
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In the first quarter, James scored 10 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas
added 11 to help Cleveland open a 32-25 lead.
"We jumped right on them," James said. "We knew they were going
to make a run. They are at home and they are an NBA team. We
tried to come out and jump on them, which we did."
Charlotte battled back in the second quarter. Former Cavalier
scored 12 of his 16 points in the period to help
the Bobcats tie the score three times.
Cleveland guard Jeff McInnis
' 3-pointer with 2:56 left in the
second quarter snapped a 47-47 tie and sparked a 10-2 run to
close the first half. James added another 3-pointer and
finished a fast break with a highlight-reel one-handed dunk
before a basket by Ira Newble
gave Cleveland a 57-49 lead at the
"I just threw it down like I know how to do," James said. "I
didn't think I was going to make it, but my long arms got me
there. I told you I could fly."
"He was up so high," Cleveland coach Paul Silas
said. " I didn't
know how he was going to reach over and do it. Man, he just
amazes me. He comes with something new every game. But that's
just like, 'How can a human being do that kind of thing?'"
The Cavaliers, who have won by an average of 15.6 points per
game during their streak, started the second half with a 15-5
run to blow open the contest.
McInnis, a Charlotte native, tallied 18 points, including three
in the run, and added four assists.
"We weren't together as a team in the first three games,"
McInnis said. "Coach kind of chewed us out. We had two or
three hard practices. We had a change in the lineup. We've
been rolling ever since. I'm just happy to be a part of it."
scored the first basket in the half and posted all
eight of his points during the run. He capped the burst and
gave Cleveland a commanding 72-54 lead with a pair of free
throws with 5:41 left in the period.
With the large lead, Silas played James just eight minutes in
the second half and a season-low 30 overall.
"His play was very impressive tonight and amazing," Silas said
of James. "He's truly amazing. It was good to get him some
rest tonight. He's playing almost 44 minutes per game, which is
too many, but you need to play him a lot of minutes because you
want to win."
"I want to be in the game," James said. "I'm not used to
sitting on no bench, it's not what I do, but any time our team is
winning like that, I'm having fun on the bench cheering on my
Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace
was ejected after picking up a
pair of third-quarter flagrant fouls, one on James and one while
trying to block Gooden. Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff
also was tossed for arguing Wallace's second flagrant foul.
"That's what the guy does," Bickerstaff said. "He contests
shots and went clean for it. I think once they review the file
he shouldn't be ejected. We've looked at the film, I've had
plenty of time."
"Some unfortunate stuff happened," Charlotte forward Melvin Ely
said. "The person that brings the energy to the team was out
and it really hurts when you have a man like that out."
scored 14 points and Ely added 10 for the Bobcats,
who did not have a starter score in double figures.
"We cut the lead down from 20 to 11," Bogans said. "But when we
got those four technical fouls it took the air out of us a