Tuesday , Jan , 17 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Cleveland searching for answers

(Sports Network) – While Cleveland (20-15) remains in second place in the
Eastern Conference’s Central Division, the slumping Cavaliers have fallen 10
games behind the division-leading Detroit Pistons.

The Cavaliers have lost their last four games and six of their last nine
games. Their lead over third-place Indiana is just a half game and the two
teams will meet next Tuesday at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Before that game, the Cavaliers will finish a six-game western road trip with
games at Denver (20-19), Golden State (18-19) and Utah (19-19).

In Cleveland’s last outing, a tough two-point loss at the Rose Garden in
Portland, Zach Randolph scored 16 points including two key free throws with 47
seconds remaining as Portland edged the Cavaliers 89-87.

LeBron James topped all players with 29 points, but only seven of them came
after halftime. The All-Star guard added 13 rebounds in the loss. Zydrunas
Ilgauskas netted 27 points on 10-of-11 shooting for Cleveland, which rallied
from an 11-point deficit early in the final quarter before faltering down the
stretch.

Drew Gooden sat out Sunday night’s game due to a right leg adductor strain
suffered against Phoenix. The forward had been playing well and had a streak
of three consecutive double doubles stopped by the injury. He’s listed as day-
to-day.

Larry Hughes is out for six more weeks with a broken finger. Without Hughes in
the lineup, Cleveland has averaged just 91.85 ppg. With Hughes’ 16.5 ppg, 4.2
rpg and 3.9 apg on the floor, the Cavaliers offense produced at a 101 ppg
pace.

CLE