Tuesday , Feb , 24 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

LeBron helps Cavs overcome 25-point deficit

=== LeBron helps Cavs overcome 25-point deficit ===

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – LeBron James took over down the stretch and
finished with 21 points and six assists, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to
their third straight win after a 104-100 come-from-behind victory over the New
Orleans Hornets at Gund Arena.

Jason Kapono sparked the stunning comeback for Cleveland, which trailed by 25
points early in the game. The rookie second-round draft pick out of UCLA came
off the bench to record a career-high 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, hitting
all five of his three-point attempts.

“When we were behind by 25. No one in their right mind thought we would come
back,” Kapono said.

Carlos Boozer added 24 points and nine rebounds in the win, which allowed
Cavaliers head coach Paul Silas to defeat his former team for the second time
in three tries this season.

Baron Davis scored 34 points and Jamal Mashburn added 23 with eight boards for
the Hornets, who dropped their second straight contest following a three-game
win streak. P.J. Brown chipped in 13 points and 13 rebounds in the defeat.

With the game tied at 94-94 with slightly over two minutes remaining, James
drove the lane and dished off to a wide-open Boozer for a lay-in, putting the
Cavs ahead for good. Boozer was then fouled on Cleveland’s next possession and
hit 1-of-2 from the line to put his team ahead 97-94 with 1:47 remaining.

Davis then made 1-of-2 free throws on the other end of the court before James
hit a shot in the lane to push the lead to four. Davis’ three-point attempt
then came up short and Boozer slammed home a basket to put the game away, as
Cleveland claimed a 101-95 lead with under a minute left to play. They then
proceeded to close out the contest from the line.

The Hornets came out blazing in the opening quarter, hitting an unbelievable
15-of-19 shots. Davis and Mashburn each went off for 14 points in the quarter
on 6-of-6 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers apiece, helping New
Orleans build a 37-16 advantage.

The lead quickly ballooned to 25 points at 47-22 after a baseline jumper by
Mashburn with 6:33 remaining in the half. However, led by an unlikely source,
Kapono, Cleveland began to chip at the deficit.

Kapono scored six points late in the second quarter to get the Cavaliers
within 59-45 at the half.

Nine straight points midway through the third quarter brought Cleveland within
two, 67-65. New Orleans, though would not relinquish control and went into the
final period holding a 77-73 advantage.

Kapono really heated up early in the fourth quarter, nailing three shots —
two of those three-pointers — for eight points to close the gap to 82-81 with
9:15 remaining. Jeff McInnis then put Cleveland ahead for the first time in
the contest with a jumper moments later.

“They kept attacking, and we didn’t,” explained Mashburn, who hit just two of
his 13 shots in the second half.

The game then remained especially close until the Cavaliers took over down the
stretch.

CLE NO