CLEVELAND, Jan. 8 (Ticker) --
Cleveland Cavaliers coach Paul Silas
wishes he could bottle his team's second-quarter performance
against the New York Knicks. New York coach Lenny Wilkens would
like to burn the film.
The Cavaliers outscored the slumping Knicks by 24 points in the
period, built a 31-point halftime cushion and coasted to a
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Wearing a protective face shield to protect his fractured
cheekbone for the fifth straight game, Cleveland's LeBron James
made all seven of his first-half shots, when he scored 15 of his
22 points. He finished 10-of-14 from the field.
"We just want to make sure we protect our house," James said.
"We always have said that we want to win as many ballgames as we
can on the road, but we want to win them all at home. I was
really impressed with the way we approached the game today."
It was "Turn Back The Clock" night, with the teams wearing
uniforms from 1976, but the game may have been an indication of
the future in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland improved to
13-3 at home - best in the conference - while New York dropped
its fourth straight game overall and seventh in a row in
Two separate 7-0 runs and 11 points by James helped the
Cavaliers gain a 29-22 lead after the first quarter.
The Cavaliers overwhelmed the Knicks, 38-14, in the second
quarter and opened a 67-36 halftime cushion. Cleveland shot 80
percent (16-of-20) from the field in the second period and
remarkably did a lot of its damage with James on the bench.
"We've changed a few things defensively, which makes us more
aggressive," Silas said. "As a result, we came up with a lot of
deflections and got a lot of run-outs."
James' powerful reverse dunk with 9:33 remaining in the second
period ignited a 13-0 spurt. The second-year superstar sat down
with 7:32 left, but the Cavaliers blew it open without him,
outscoring the Knicks, 30-10, over the remainder of the quarter.
Wilkens was frustrated with his team's transition defense.
"It was the whole team," he said. "It wasn't like it was one
group. Whoever was in there didn't get back on defense."
came off the bench to score 12 points in the
second quarter, including a 3-pointer gave Cleveland a 53-30
advantage. Harris finished with a season-high 16 points.
Reserve Sasha Pavlovic
scored all 10 of his points in the
second-quarter blitz as Cleveland's bench wound up with a
season-high 42 points.
"It was by far (the best performance from the bench this year),"
Silas said. "But that's been coming. I'm more comfortable with
the rotation now. They're learning each other, and playing with
each other in practice, and having that kind of effect against
"(The bench) dominated the game today," Cavaliers guard Jeff McInnis
said. "We have to give them all the credit. We went out
and established the lead. They kept the lead and took the game
scored 17 points for the Knicks (16-17), who fell
below .500 and remained winless in 2005. Point guard Stephon Marbury
, who had averaged 30 points and eight assists in New
York's last five games, finished with seven and 12.
"(Cleveland) played like they were on national television and we
played like we were in a pickup game," Knicks forward Jerome Williams
said. "If you care about the team and about the uniform
that you are wearing, you've got to go out there and play with
pride, and tonight I don't think we did that."