Saturday , Feb , 28 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

LeBron works overtime to lead Cavs past Magic

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – LeBron James posted 30 points and 11 rebounds,
and scored six in overtime, as the Cleveland Cavaliers survived a late-
regulation comeback to defeat Orlando, 112-107, at TD Waterhouse Centre.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 28 points for the Cavaliers, who squandered an 18-
point lead in the fourth quarter but held on in overtime to win for the fourth
time in five games. Carlos Boozer chipped in 17 points and 16 rebounds and
Jeff McInnis had 16 points with 10 assists.

Tracy McGrady led all players with 35 points for the Magic, who trailed 90-72
with less than nine minutes to play in this one. They have dropped two
straight on the heels of a three-game winning streak.

McGrady was fouled by Boozer behind the three-point line with just 9.3 seconds
remaining in regulation, and he made all three free throws to knot the game at
100-100 and complete the comeback.

“I didn’t think it was a foul,” Boozer said afterwards. “It was all good,
though. It set up a great game for us in overtime.”

James was called for an offensive foul at the other end, but McGrady’s
desperation half-court heave at the buzzer failed, sending the game into
overtime.

McGrady gave the Magic a brief 105-103 lead in the extra session with a three-
pointer at the 2:22 mark. But James followed with a bucket at the other end to
spark a game-clinching 8-0 run by the Cavs.

“Me and [McGrady] are really good friends,” James said. “You know every time
we come out it’s a friendly rivalry. He makes big shots for his team, I make
big shots for my team. We’re out there for one reason and one reason only – to
help our team win.”

James gave Cleveland the lead for good with a pair of free throws to make it
107-105, and Orlando didn’t score again until the final seconds.

The game looked to be over earlier after the Cavaliers carried an 80-66
advantage into the fourth quarter, but McGrady got hot in the final 12
minutes.

He scored 15 in the fourth quarter, including 10 of the Magic’s 21 points
during a 21-6 run that pulled them within 96-93 after being down 90-72.

Orlando was never able to take the lead, but pulled even on McGrady’s free
throws late.

“For the most part, we had the game,” James said. “They got away from us at
the end. They came back, but we were able to withstand the heat and make a run
in overtime.”

Cleveland allowed 100 points for the 19th time this season, but improved its
record when this happens to 3-16. The Magic have allowed at least 100 points
29 times this season and are 4-25 in those games.

Behind 17-16 in the first quarter, the Cavs used a 10-2 burst to go ahead by
seven points at 26-19 and didn’t trail again until the fourth.

They carried a 30-25 lead into the second on the strength of 12 first-quarter
points from James.

Orlando was still within five at 42-37 midway through the second period, but
Cleveland went on a 7-0 spurt, led by James’ five points, to grab a 49-37
advantage with just over four minute to play before the break.

The Magic trimmed their deficit to nine points at the half and trailed 53-44
heading into the locker room.

The domination continued into the third quarter, as the Magic were never able
to pull closer than seven points.

The Cleveland lead reached 15 points midway through the third when Ilgauskas’
hook shot in the lane made it 66-51 with 6:15 remaining. The Cavs later went
ahead by 18 points before carrying an 80-66 advantage into the final quarter.

CLE ORL