James leads red-hot Cleveland past sinking Charlotte
=== James leads red-hot Cleveland past sinking Charlotte ===
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) – LeBron James scored 30 points to lead
Cleveland to its sixth straight win, 103-91 over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 19 points and Donyell Marshall scored 14 for the
Cavaliers, who led by 17 points at halftime and by as many as 26. James, who
made 11-of-19 shots and had six rebounds and six assists, didn’t play in the
fourth quarter after the Cavs held a commanding 83-57 lead through 36 minutes.
Alan Anderson had 14 points off the bench to lead Charlotte, which extended
its franchise-record with a 12th straight defeat. Melvin Ely and Kareem Rush
each had 12 points and Jumaine Jones added 11. However, rookie Raymond Felton
left the game midway through the third quarter with back spasms.
The Cavaliers opened breathing room with an 11-2 spurt in the first quarter,
extending to a 20-9 lead. James banged in a three-pointer and another jumper
during the run, and Cleveland led 32-20 after 12 minutes.
A Jake Voskuhl jumper brought Charlotte within 39-32, but Cleveland rattled
off the next 10 points, capped by seven consecutive points from James,
including a free throw with 3:18 remaining in the half.
Two James foul shots ended the second quarter with the Cavs ahead 56-39 at the
break and that margin continued to blow up in the third before Cleveland
cruised to a 5-0 mark all-time against the Bobcats.
Luke Jackson added 10 points, while Drew Gooden had 12 boards and Anderson
Varejao tallied 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
The Bobcats expect to be without forward Emeka Okafor at least another five
weeks with a sprained right ankle. The injury has already cost last year’s
Rookie of the Year 20 of Charlotte’s last 21 games and will keep the forward
out until after the All-Star break. Okafor most likely will not return to
action for the Bobcats until March 6 at the earliest…Voskuhl had 12 rebounds
and Brevin Knight had 14 assists for Charlotte…Rush returned after missing
13 straight games with a sprained left index finger. He had nine points…The
Cavs are 8-3 on the road versus the Eastern Conference…Cleveland’s Ira
Newble missed the game with migraine headaches.