LeBron scores 56, but Cavs lose
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Jalen Rose poured in 30 points, Donyell
Marshall added a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the Toronto
Raptors defeated Cleveland, 105-98, despite a franchise-record 56 points by
Cavaliers guard LeBron James.
Rafer Alston chipped in 16 points for Toronto, which snapped a two-game slide.
Chris Bosh, who played despite a lower back injury, scored 11 points with
seven rebounds in 39 minutes.
“It was definitely a team win today,” said Rose. “I think his (James) game
tonight is the most points one of my opponents in playing in this game, has
ever scored, 56.” He had an amazing game.”
James reached the 50-point plateau for the first time in his young career, and
at 20-years old and 80 days became the youngest player in NBA history to turn
James ended 18-of-36 from the floor and also grabbed 10 rebounds to go along
with five assists. He was 6-of-12 on three-pointers and 14-of-15 from the free
“I’ve never seen him (James) this good, but man he is awful good,” said
Cleveland head coach Paul Silas. “He is a special player. It is a shame to
lose the ball game for him.”
Drew Gooden contributed 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Zydrunas Ilgauskas
added 10 points for struggling Cleveland, which has dropped three in a row and
13 of its last 21 games overall. The Cavs bench scored just one point.
James set the tone early by scoring 16 points in the first quarter, but
Cleveland trailed 30-27 heading into the second.
Two free throws by Bosh gave Toronto some breathing room at 49-41 with 6:06
remaining in the first half. Cleveland fought back and trimmed the deficit to
55-53 heading into the locker room.
Marshall scored 14 points to pace the Raptors, while James netted 29 to pace
all players at the break.
The third quarter was tight throughout with the only action coming when Ira
Newble and Alston got into a heated exchange after Alston was fouled
hard going to the basket. Cooler heads prevailed between the two players and
Toronto carried a 75-74 lead into the fourth.
James settled down a bit in the third, scoring just eight points.
The Raptors would gain some much-needed breathing midway through the fourth.
After two free throws by James made it 82-82, Toronto reeled of six straight
points, capped by Bosh’s two free throws, to take an 88-82 lead midway
But James single-handedly kept the Cavs in the game with a three-pointer from
the top of the key to cap off his performance and pull Cleveland within 101-98
with 43 seconds to go.
However, Alston converted a jumper at the other end and James followed by
turning the ball over for the Cavs. Alston then drained two free throws to
seal the game and account for the final margin.
Walt Wesley held the old Cleveland record for points in a game with 50,
accomplished against Cincinnati on February 19, 1971.
James’ 56 points were the most ever scored against Toronto. He recorded
personal bests in field goals made, three-pointers made and points in a half.
Prior to the game, Rick Barry was the youngest player in NBA history to score
50 or more points in a game. At 21-years old and 261 days he scored 56 against
the New York Knicks as a member of the San Francisco Warriors on December 14,