Murray helps Cavs edge Lakers
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Flip Murray made 1-of-2 free throws with
3.4 seconds left and scored 13 of his 21 points during the deciding fourth
quarter, as Cleveland slipped past the Los Angeles Lakers, 96-95, at Quicken
LeBron James poured in 29 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven
assists while Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 25 points and seven rebounds in
Cleveland’s second straight victory. Murray also hit the glass hard for eight
boards, as the Cavs held a 39-32 rebounding edge.
Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 38 points, grabbed six boards and dished out
five assists while Lamar Odom contributed 25 points, eight rebounds and nine
assists in defeat.
Smush Parker donated 14 points in the Lakers’ second straight defeat. Los
Angeles has lost four of its last five games.
Cleveland got back into the game during a frantic fourth period.
The Cavs went on a 10-2 spurt to cut the deficit to 87-80. Murray scored six
straight points, attacking the basket for two layups and a slam, while
Ilgauskas’ hook shot capped the stretch with 7:33 left.
With the Lakers sending two people at James, Cleveland’s role players spurred
a 15-0 spurt to stake the Cavs to a four-point lead. Murray again tallied six
of the points while Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden converted layups. Ilgauskas then
tipped in a Gooden miss and James finally got loose for a three to make the
score 95-91 with 2:32 remaining.
Odom drained a pair from the charity stripe then Bryant buried a trey to
square the contest at 95-95 with 1:33 to play.
Bryant and Murray both missed jumpers, then Odom missed a bank shot in the
lane with under 10 seconds left. After a timeout, Murray in-bounded the ball
and quickly got it back while slashing toward the basket. Bryant fouled Murray
and the guard made 1-of-2 from the stripe with 3.4 ticks left.
The Cavs followed Bryant with two players and the Lakers’ superstar missed a
desperation three-point heave at the buzzer.
Bryant and Parker keyed a sizzling shooting first quarter for the Lakers. Los
Angeles made 13-of-19 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, to
take a 30-18 lead. Bryant had 11 points and four assists while Parker added 10
Los Angeles led by as many as 18 points early in the second quarter on the
heels of a 12-4 run. Odom and Andrew Bynum each tallied four points with the
rookie forward’s layup extending the advantage to 42-24 with 9:01 remaining.
Cleveland slowly trimmed the deficit to 11, 60-49, near the end of the half
after James drained a turnaround jumper with 25 ticks left. However, Bryant
buried a difficult three at the buzzer to push the edge to 63-49. Bryant
tallied 24 points in the half while James sprang for 18.
Los Angeles held a 81-70 lead after three stanzas.
Cleveland has won four straight at home and improved to 24-10 at Quicken Loans
Arena…Los Angeles fell to 16-21 on the road…Gooden had nine points and
nine rebounds in the win…Kwame Brown donated eight points in defeat.