Jamesí 44 points Ends Spursí Streak
Cleveland 101, San Antonio 87
CLEVELAND, Feb. 13 (Ticker) -- LeBron James created the cushion and his teammates helped put away the San Antonio Spurs.
James scored 18 of his 44 points in the third quarter to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 101-87 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, who had a nine-game winning streak stopped.
"I wanted to come out aggressive tonight and help my team get a win," James said. "We have to grow up. We can't keep beating teams like Phoenix, and Detroit, and San Antonio, and then lose to a sub-par 500 team."
"It's a bad combination for LeBron to be great and then for us to give up that many points off of turnovers and offensive boards," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It was like triple whammy."
With James on the bench to start the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers were able to pull away.
Rookie Stephen Graham's jumper less than a minute into the frame ignited a 8-2 spurt that Zydrunas Ilgauskas capped with a hook shot with 9:26 remaining for a 79-64 advantage.
"Offensively, (Graham) was aggressive by driving the basketball and by not being afraid to knock down shots when he was open," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said.
James made 19-of-33 shots and handed out five assists and Ilgauskas added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Graham finished with eight points off the bench.
"I thought (LeBron) did a great job of attacking the rim, even though the Spurs have two big men down around the basket all the time," Brown said. "He willed himself to the rim and he willed this win for us."
"(James) was fantastic, Popovich said. "That's why he's one of the best players in the league and he's going to have a Hall of Fame career."
Drew Gooden chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who forced 18 turnovers.
Tim Duncan scored only three of his 19 points after the break and Manu Ginobili finished with 12 for San Antonio, which also had its nine-game road winning streak snapped.
"(James) gave them everything they needed when they needed it, Duncan said. "On top of that, we turned the ball over, gave up offensive rebounds, just a tailor-made game for a loss for us."
Spurs All-star Tony Parker had an off night, scoring four points and turning the ball over seven times.
"I was in too much of a hurry and tried to make some stuff happen," Parker said.
San Antonio raced out to a 13-4 lead in the opening quarter and led 51-50 before the Cavaliers ran off a 21-9 spurt to end the third quarter.
"They got out to a quick start, but we did a great job of executing offensively and defensively and won a big game," James said.
"We didn't have enough juice," Ginobili admitted. "We didn't execute our defense very well, so that's what happens against a player like (James)."