Facebook Twitter

James turns heads in victory

SHARE James turns heads in victory
Cleveland's LaBron James dunks during Cavs' easy win Wednesday.

Cleveland’s LaBron James dunks during Cavs’ easy win Wednesday.

Mark Duncan, Associated Press

On his bobblehead night, LeBron James again left everyone shaking their heads.

"He just amazes me," Cleveland coach Paul Silas said.

The Cavaliers' rookie star scored 24 points in three quarters and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 17, and the Cavs rolled to a 112-80 win Wednesday night in Cleveland over the Atlanta Hawks.

With their fifth win in seven games, the surging Cavaliers moved within a half game of the No. 8 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Don't look now, but one season removed from winning just 17 games, Cleveland is only 1 1/2 games out of sixth playoff spot.

"We want to get there," James said. "I want to get there."

A sellout crowd of 20,562 came to Gund Arena for the bobblehead giveaway as the first 10,000 fans through the door received the tiny statues of James.

The other 10,000 fans who didn't get the hot collectible didn't leave disappointed, however, as James made several jaw-dropping plays while leading the Cavaliers to their most lopsided win this season.

Atlanta had upset the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, but were no match for the Cavs, who led by 17 points after one quarter, 22 at half, 25 at the end of three and 40 in the fourth.

"We came out wanting to jump this team early," Cavs guard Jeff McInnis said. "That's what we did."

Carlos Boozer added 12 points and 15 rebounds and Lee Nailon added 10 points in his first game with the Cavaliers.

Stephen Jackson led Atlanta with 20 points and Jason Terry had 15 for the Hawks, who dropped their fifth straight road game.

"This is miserable," Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said. "I hate sitting on the sideline down by 30."

Energized from the opening tap by the crowd, James gave fans some memories to savor with four dunks in the first half, including a pair of sensational slams to open the second period.

LAKERS 96, ROCKETS 93: At Houston, Shaquille O'Neal scored 28 points and Kobe Bryant hit the go-ahead basket with 32 seconds to play, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit.

After leading 75-64 with 10:59 to play, the Rockets got their final lead at 93-92 on a basket by Jim Jackson with 39 seconds to play but Bryant made a 22-footer seconds later and Derek Fisher completed the rally with two free throws with 9.8 seconds left.

WIZARDS 84, RAPTORS 70: At Washington, Gilbert Arenas scored 27 points and Washington won for the fourth time in five games by beating Toronto.

BUCKS 105, MAGIC 97: At Orlando, Keith Van Horn scored 25 points and Damon Jones tied the NBA's season high with 17 assists in leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their fourth straight victory, 105-97 over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

KNICKS 88, 76ERS 77: At New York, Stephon Marbury saw Tim Thomas out of the corner of his eye and flicked a no-look pass for a resounding dunk, a key play as the Knicks pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat Philadelphia.

TIMBERWOLVES 121, MAVERICKS 97: At Minneapolis, Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 19 rebounds to lead Minnesota over Dallas.

SPURS 88, SUPERSONICS 84: At San Antonio, Tony Parker had 11 points and three steals in the fourth quarter to help San Antonio hang on for a win over Seattle.

Hedo Turkoglu led San Antonio with 18 points, going 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. Parker had 17 points and a career-high six steals.

HORNETS 100, BULLS 97 (OT): At New Orleans, Jamal Mashburn made a turnaround 3-pointer at the buzzer to give New Orleans a win in overtime.

SUNS 87, NETS 74: At Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire had 32 points to become the first Phoenix player in eight years to score at least 20 in 10 consecutive games, and the Suns beat the Jason Kidd-less Nets.

GRIZZLIES 97, TRAIL BLAZERS 88: At Portland, Ore., Bonzi Wells made his first trip to Portland since the Trail Blazers sent him packing, and brushing off the boos, scored 28 points as the Grizzlies prevailed.