Minus LeBron, Hughes Leads Cavs Past Knicks
Cleveland 91, New York 87
CLEVELAND, April 13 (Ticker) -- Larry Hughes nearly filled in as LeBron James.
Hughes scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half as the Cleveland Cavaliers posted a 91-87 come-from-behind victory over the New York Knicks, who had to deal with an unfortunate matter.
"Larry was not feeling well near the end of the third quarter," Knicks director of media relations Jonathan Supranowitz said. "His vital signs are stable. Given the fact that it came on so suddenly they decided to admit him into a hospital in Cleveland for observation. It looks like he is staying overnight."
It is uncertain whether Brown will coach the Knicks on Friday when they host Milwaukee.
Behind the effort of Hughes, who rebounded from a 2-of-12 shooting performance in the opening half, Cleveland snapped a four-game losing streak to New York. He added 13 rebounds and six assists and Zydrunas Ilgauskas collected 17 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
Meanwhile, James sat out the game due to a sprained left ankle he suffered during the third quarter of Wednesday's blowout loss to Detroit. He leads the team in scoring (31.6) and assists (6.6), and is second in rebounds (7.1).
"If this was a playoff game, (James) would have taped it up and he'd be playing," said Cleveland coach Mike Brown before the game.
The Cavaliers rallied from a 13-point third-quarter deficit to win their 48th game and made Mike Brown the most successful first-year coach in franchise history.
"I honestly feel that if we can get 50 wins, LeBron has a legitimate shot at the MVP," said Cavaliers forward Donyell Marshall, who had 17 points.
Cleveland trailed, 67-60, entering the final period but put together an 11-0 surge to take an 82-80 edge with 1:54 to go. Hughes capped the burst with a layup off a steal by Eric Snow.
"(Hughes) was relentless in terms of getting to the basket," Mike Brown said. "I thought in the second half, he stayed aggressive attacking the rim and that helped him go 8-for-12 (shooting from the floor) in the second half."
"I can't be the player I want to be right now because of the circumstances," said Hughes, who played his sixth game since returning from a finger fracture. "But, I'll keep fighting."
With 65 seconds remaining, Jamal Crawford nailed a 3-pointer to put the Knicks ahead by one, but Ronald Murray responded on the ensuing possession with a shot from the arc for an 85-83 lead with 41 ticks left.
Crawford split a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left on the clock to slice New York's deficit to one, but Cleveland sank six straight foul shots to secure its 12th win in the last 14 games and 10th straight victory at home.
"We all know that LeBron is our guy," Mike Brown said. "But we have other guys in that locker room who capable. It is good for their confidence to let them know they can win when the top gun is down."
New York rookie Nate Robinson scored 21 of his 32 points in the first half. The 2006 Slam Dunk Champion, who was two points shy of a season high, made 11-of-20 shots, including 6-of-9 from long distance.
Crawford added 19 points, nine assists and five steals.