The Cleveland Cavaliers look to extend their longest winning streak of the season to nine games Tuesday when they face the struggling Charlotte Bobcats for the final time this season.

Cleveland (41-25) has won nine of 10 all-time meetings with Charlotte (24-43), including four at Charlotte Bobcats Arena. The Cavaliers did lose at Charlotte, 92-88 on Nov. 4, but defeated the Bobcats twice at home this season, including a 101-81 rout on Feb. 2, the most recent meeting.

With a victory Tuesday, Cleveland can match its longest winning streak of last season, a nine-game run from March 17-April 4, 2006.

LeBron James had 24 points and a season-high 17 rebounds Saturday to lead Cleveland to its eighth win in a row, 82-73 over Utah. The scoring output matched the lowest in a victory this season for the Cavaliers, who shot just 37.5 percent (33-for-88) from the field and 50.0 percent (13-for-26) from the foul line.

"On the offensive end we didn't shoot it well," James said. "We turned the ball over early in the first half, which kept them in the ballgame. Besides that, we played great defense. That's what our team is about. We got great stops."

The Cavs are allowing opponents only 91.0 points per game during the winning streak.

The surge has helped Cleveland move to within 1 1/2 games of Detroit for both the Central Division lead and the best record in the Eastern Conference.

James is averaging 31.4 points and 8.9 boards in seven games of the win streak. He sat out one victory - a 124-100 win over Sacramento last Tuesday - due to back spasms. The injury hasn't appeared to bother the All-Star forward in the two games since, as he has totaled 53 points and 23 rebounds.

Even with a Wednesday matchup against NBA-leading Dallas looming, James doesn't think his team will look past the stumbling Bobcats.

"We're not going to overlook anyone," James said. "We know Charlotte plays hard for 48 minutes and we have to match their intensity. Go down there and try to get another win."

Charlotte, owner of the second-worst record in the East to Boston's 20-47 mark, has dropped its two straight games and 10 of its last 12.

The Bobcats fell 97-91 to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, when they were whistled for three technical fouls in the fourth quarter, leading Gerald Wallace to question how the officials treat Charlotte.

"I've been here three years, so I'm used to it," said Wallace, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds. "If we're not blowing them out, we know what to expect. It's frustrating, because I want to win. Every time we get so close it seems like it gets taken out of our hands.

"I'm pretty much used to that style of how the Bobcats are treated."


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