Central Division teams meet in Cleveland
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Rookie phenom LeBron James and the Cleveland
Cavaliers go for their third straight win tonight as they welcome Central
Division rival New Orleans to Gund Arena.
The is the third meeting of the season between the two clubs. Both squads have
picked up a victory on its homecourt.
Cleveland head coach Paul Silas meets his former club once again. He is the
all-time winningest coach in Hornets’ history, posting a 208-155 record and
leading the team to the playoffs in each of his four full seasons. Silas was
fired by New Orleans after it was eliminated by Philadelphia in the first
round of last year’s playoffs.
On Sunday, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 31 points and 15 rebounds, leading the
Cavaliers to a 92-86 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
James finished with 22 points for the Cavaliers, who have won four straight
versus the Knicks. Carlos Boozer chipped in 14 points and 17 boards, as
Cleveland earned its second consecutive win overall.
Cleveland opened the second half on an 11-4 run and made it 55-44 after
Ilgauskas made a free throw to complete a three-point play. Ilgauskas later
added a basket to push the margin to 66-55. The Cavs then carried a 70-55
advantage into the fourth quarter.
Ilgauskas scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter for the
Cavaliers, who took a 78-56 lead with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the
New York showed some life and closed within 81-68 thanks to a 10-0 run with
three minutes to go. The Knicks, though, later cut the lead to 88-84 on
consecutive layups by Stephon Marbury with 17.7 seconds remaining. Boozer was
then fouled on the inbounds pass and made both shots for a six-point lead.
After a New York basket, James was sent to the foul line and drained both
attempts to seal the win.
Cleveland is 1-16 when it allows at least 100 points this season.
The Cavs are 15-13 at home this season.
The Hornets come into tonight’s game off a loss to Eastern Conference foe New
Jersey. On Saturday, New Orleans was defeated by the Nets, 97-84, on at
Continental Airlines Arena. Jamal Mashburn poured in a game-high 28 points and
hauled in 13 boards for the Hornets, who had their three-game winning streak
snapped. All-Star guard Baron Davis contributed 17 points in the setback.
Davis has scored in double digits in 48 of the 49 contests that he has played
in this season. He is averaging 19.7 points and 8.7 points in his last three
The Hornets, who have lost three of their last four as the visitor, are 13-14
on the road this season.
The home team has won 12 of the last 14 meetings in this series. The Hornets,
who have lost two straight at Cleveland, have won six of the last eight
contests with the Cavs.