Thursday , Feb , 16 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

James carries Cavs in double overtime win at Boston

Boston, MA (Sports Network) – LeBron James recorded his eighth career triple-
double, with 43 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to out duel Paul Pierce and
lead Cleveland past the Boston Celtics in a 113-109 double overtime thriller
at TD Banknorth Garden.

Drew Gooden added 19 points and 11 boards for the Cavaliers, who won their
second straight game. Zydrunas Ilgauskas chipped in with 14 while Damon Jones
had 13 points and Donyell Marshall managed 11 in the win.

Paul Pierce did his best to match James, leading the Celtics with a career-
high 50 points before fouling out deep in the second overtime. Pierce also
recorded seven rebounds and eight assists for Boston, which lost for the first
time in three games.

Wally Szczerbiak tallied 17 points for the Celtics while Delonte West had 15
points, 10 boards and eight assists in the loss.

James’ brilliant season continued against the Celtics, who threw a number of
defenders at the MVP candidate without much success.

Pierce opened the second overtime with a jumper and Boston’s precarious two-
point cushion, 104-102, held up for nearly three minutes until Gooden got
loose inside with 2:02 left.

After Boston turned the ball over, James used his playmaking skills to find
Gooden slashing inside. The Celts were forced to foul the forward who stuck
two free throws to put the Cavs back on top, 106-104, with 1:30 on the clock.

Pierce responded with 1-of-2 free throws that made the score, 106-105, but
then fouled out at the defensive end trying to check the dynamic James.

King James stuck 1-of-2 to extend the advantage to 107-105 with 59 seconds
left.

Forced to play the final minute without Pierce, the Celtics looked lost. West
camp up empty on a runner and James then stuck the dagger in Boston’s heart
with a driving lay-in that made it 109-105 with only 26.4 on the clock.

Szczerbiak forced contact to make it a one possession game again (109-107).
The former Timberwolves’ star made a pair from the line with 19.8 seconds
left.

Cleveland then made two free throws in the final seconds to secure the win.

The Cavs opened the first extra frame with four consecutive points in the
first 1 1/2 minutes . James buried a turnaround jumper and Jones followed with
a jumper of his own to give Cleveland the edge, 97-93.

The teams traded points over the next two minutes and the score stood at
101-97 with 1:33 left on clock.

Boston ended the extra period by scoring five of the final six points.
Szczerbiak hit a jumper and Pierce converted a three-point play to sandwich a
Gooden free throw.

The mini-spurt tied things at 102 with 24 seconds left.

James’ runner at the buzzer fell harmlessly off the rim to force the second
overtime period.

The Cavs fashioned a 30-23 lead after the first 12 minutes. James netted 13
points on 6-of-8 shooting in the opening frame.

Cleveland continued to hold a seven-point advantage, 50-43, at the half and
headed to the fourth quarter with a 71-65 edge.

Pierce tried to put the Celts on his back and scored 10 of Boston’s first 12
points in the fourth quarter. The All-Star’s turnaround jumper with just over
eight minutes left deadlocked things at 77.

Cleveland answered by scoring nine of the game next 13 points. Ilgauskas
scored six of the Cavs points during the flurry that made the score 86-81 with
a little over five minutes remaining.

The Celtics responded with a 9-2 run over the next three minutes to regain the
lead. A pair of Ryan Gomes free throws made it 90-88 with 1:54 on the clock.

James then took over with two consecutive buckets in just 20 seconds, the
second of which was a thunderous slam that awed the Boston crowd and put
Cleveland back in front, 92-90.

The teams traded misses before Damon Jones extended the Cleveland advantage to
three, 93-90, after hitting 1-of-2 from the charity stripe with 26 ticks left.

Raef LaFrentz made 1-of-2 of his own to draw Boston within two, 93-91, with
7.8 seconds remaining.

The Celtics then quickly fouled Ilgauskas with 7.1 left and the veteran missed
both of his free throw attempts, giving Boston an opportunity to tie or win
the game at the buzzer.

West inbounded the ball to Pierce who went one-on-one with James. LeBron poked
the ball from Pierce but the former Kansas star regained control and used a
beautiful head fake to draw a foul with just 0.2 ticks on the clock.

Pierce calmly sunk both freebies to send the game to overtime.

Game Notes

James and Gooden combined to score the first 15 points of the game for the
Cavs…Szczerbiak played despite a sore knee…Cleveland is now 12-14 on the
road this season while Boston is 16-12 at home.

BOS CLE