Tuesday , Jan , 20 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

No LeBron, no problem: Cavs beat Seattle

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Carlos Boozer went off for 32 points and 20
rebounds to lead the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers to a surprising 99-94
win over the Seattle SuperSonics at Gund Arena.

Tony Battie contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds and Dajuan Wagner had 14
points in the win. The point totals were season-highs for both players.
Kedrick Brown added 13 points for the Cavs, who have won three of their last
four.

The Cavs played without rookie phenom LeBron James for the first time this
season. James suffered a sprained right ankle in the waning seconds of
regulation in Saturday’s overtime win over Utah.

Cleveland also was without center Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the victory. He was
suspended one game for throwing a punch at Utah center Greg Ostertag in the
same contest.

Boozer tied his career-high with 32 points and pulled down 18 rebounds
against Utah, giving him 64 points and 38 rebounds in the last two contests.

Rashard Lewis scored 27 points for the Sonics, who fell for the fifth time in
six games. Ray Allen had 20 points while Vladimir Radmanovic contributed 13
points and five boards in the loss.

The teams played most of the fourth quarter very tight, as neither squad could
muster more than a two-point lead until Wagner’s two free throws with 4:37
left gave the Cavs an 89-85 advantage. But the Sonics got back-to-back three-
pointers from Radmanovic, sandwiched around a pair of Battie free throws, to
pull even at 91-91.

With 1:27 left, Battie missed a jumper but Darius Miles came through with a
follow-up dunk, and the Cavs wouldn’t trail again. A pair of Kevin Ollie free
throws with 27 seconds remaining put the Cavs up 95-91.

Lewis converted a three-point play with a layup from the lane to make it a
one-point game only four seconds later, but Boozer drained four free throws
down the stretch while Allen and Radmanovic missed jumpers to account for the
final score.

Cleveland made 16-of-18 free throws in the fourth quarter, and 38-of-42 in the
game, to pave the way to victory. Seattle shot just 16 free throws in the
contest, making 11, and lost for the first time in nine tries in Cleveland.

The Cavs got out to a 14-7 lead five minutes into the game on a pair of
Eric Williams free throws. But Seattle clawed its way back into the lead,
moving ahead 19-17 on a James dunk with 3:45 to go in the stanza. The Sonics
closed out the half with a 27-26 advantage.

Seattle ripped off a 16-4 run to open up the second quarter, capped by Lewis’
three-pointer with 5:38 to go in the half that made it 43-30. The Sonics,
though, wound up going cold over the final 3:22, scoring only on Lewis’ layup
with one second left.

The Cavs scored 12 points over the same span, and trailed just 52-50 heading
into the locker room. Boozer led all players at the break with 17 points and
eight rebounds, while Lewis’ 16 points paced the Sonics.

Cleveland continued its strong play early in the second half, using a 13-4
burst to pull ahead 63-56 on a Battie dunk midway through the third quarter.
Seattle then used a 7-0 run, capped by an Allen layup with four minutes left,
to pull even at 63 apiece. The teams headed into the fourth quarter tied at 71
apiece.

CLE SEA