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Tireless James settles Cavs

Associated Press
Published April 4, 2005


CLEVELAND - LeBron James kept his cool when his teammates lost theirs.

James scored 37 and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 21 to lead the Cavaliers 100-80 over Dallas on Sunday despite the ejection of two players.

The Cavs, who led by 20 in the second quarter, looked as if they would implode late in the third when Robert Traylor and Drew Gooden were tossed for arguing Traylor's foul on Jerry Stackhouse. Traylor threw his armband into the crowd, and Gooden followed by whipping his headband into the seats.

James played every minute for the fourth time in nine games, including two that went to overtime, and is averaging almost 32 points over that span.

"No matter how many minutes I play, I'm so determined to get to the playoffs right now that I can't afford to get tired," said James, who added 10 rebounds and seven assists.

The win keeps the Cavs (38-34) tied with Indiana for the sixth playoff spot in the East and snapped their string of eight straight losses to Dallas.

WOLVES 112, KINGS 100: Kevin Garnett had 30 points and 13 rebounds and Latrell Sprewell added 23 points for Minnesota. Sam Cassell scored 13 of his 16 in the first half for the Timberwolves, who have won four straight regular-season games in Sacramento. Minnesota made 53 percent of its shots and took a 16-point lead early in the fourth.

With their sixth victory in seven games, the ninth-place Timberwolves (39-35) stayed three games behind Denver and Memphis for the final two West playoff spots. Minnesota is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in nine years.

76ERS 97, CELTICS 93: Allen Iverson scored 38 for visiting Philadelphia, which snapped a three-game skid and moved three games behind Boston in the Atlantic Division, the league's worst. At one game below .500, Philadelphia could finish with the East's third seed or miss the playoffs altogether.

"The playoffs have started for a lot of teams and we haven't joined in the fray," said Boston coach Doc Rivers, hoarse after a game in which the Celtics fell behind 26 points in the first quarter. "We really don't get it. I'm telling you, we don't."

Philadelphia moved a game ahead of Orlando for the final playoff spot in the East.

PISTONS 113, RAPTORS 103: Chauncey Billups scored eight of his 26 during a decisive fourth-quarter run for visiting Detroit. Richard Hamilton had 19 points, tied a season high with 11 assists and had nine rebounds for the Pistons, who shot 58 percent from the field. With the Pistons clinging to a one-point lead with 10:10 left in the fourth, Billups started a 16-0 run with a jumper and 3-pointer.

GRIZZLIES 102, LAKERS 82: Mike Miller scored 22 to help host Memphis move into a tie with idle Denver for seventh in the West. Los Angeles has lost 11 of its past 12 and eight straight on the road. The Lakers, already short-handed with Chris Mihm hurt and Lamar Odom placed on the injured list before the game, got limited time from Kobe Bryant, who left in the second quarter with a right leg injury. Los Angeles also lost Brian Grant in the second quarter to a pair of technicals. Memphis led by 27 in the first half and the Lakers never cut the deficit to single digits.

SUNS 91, ROCKETS 78: Shawn Marion had 23 points and 18 rebounds, and Joe Johnson added 19 points to lead visiting Phoenix. Jim Jackson came off the bench to score 15 to help keep the high-scoring Suns running smoothly on a night when All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire struggled with just nine points. Yao Ming was back in the lineup for Houston after missing Friday's loss to last-place New Orleans with a sore right calf. Wearing a protective black sleeve around his lower leg, Yao had 19 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.

WARRIORS 101, SONICS 92: Jason Richardson scored 22 and Baron Davis had 19 points and nine assists for host Golden State. The playoff-bound Sonics missed a chance to clinch the franchise's first division title since winning their third straight Pacific crown in 1997-98, getting outhustled on the boards and loose balls. Mike Dunleavy made three 3-pointers in the final 3:52 to finish with 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Warriors, who have won five straight.

BUCKS 106, KNICKS 102: Mo Williams made four free throws and Desmond Mason added another in the final 16 seconds for host Milwaukee, which snapped an eight-game skid. Michael Redd had 32 points to lead the Bucks. Tim Thomas paced the Knicks, who dropped their sixth straight, with 23 points and hit two 3-pointers down the stretch. Mason finished with 20 points, Williams 18 and Marcus Fizer 14.

CLIPPERS 111, HAWKS 91: Elton Brand scored a season-high 33 as Los Angeles got just its second road victory in two months. The loss was the 12th straight for the Hawks and 25th in their past 26 games. Corey Maggette, held out of the Clippers' loss at Detroit on Friday with a bruised lower back, returned to score 25.

PACERS 79, WIZARDS 76: Stephen Jackson and Anthony Johnson each scored 15 to lead Indiana. The Pacers made three 3-pointers during a big 16-2 run in the fourth. Johnson capped the spurt with four free throws to make it 77-71, but Larry Hughes pulled the host Wizards to 77-73 on a breakaway dunk with 1:05 remaining. But Indiana held on for its third straight win and seventh in the past 10 games.