James carries Cavs past Dallas and into playoffs
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – LeBron James poured in 46 points on 16-of-23
shooting as Cleveland bested Dallas, 107-94, and clinched their first
postseason birth since 1998 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers, who
won their sixth consecutive outing. Donyell Marshall chipped in with 12 points
off the bench in the win.
Dirk Nowitzki tallied 29 points for the Mavericks, who have lost two
consecutive games and fell 1 1/2 games behind San Antonio for first place in
the Southwest Division and the Western Conference. Jerry Stackhouse recorded
23 points while Jason Terry had 17 in the loss.
James scored 19 of his 46 points in the decisive third quarter when the
Cavaliers outscored Dallas 35-16 and grabbed control of the game.
The Cavs began the frame by scoring the first nine points to turn a one-point
deficit into an eight-point lead, 57-49. Drew Gooden finished the burst, a
little over two minutes into the frame, with a three-point play.
Cleveland continued to build its cushion from there. James’ triple, with a
little over six minutes remaining in the quarter, gave the Cavs a 13-point
He then finished the quarter with a three-point play to make the score 83-65
heading into the final frame.
James’ continued his dominance into the fourth quarter. Twenty seconds into
the stanza, the All-Star electrified the crowd with a driving lay-in to give
Cleveland its first 20-point lead, 85-65.
The Mavericks managed to close the gap to within 13, after a pair of Darrel
Armstrong free throws with 1:16 left, but Dallas never seriously threatened
down the stretch as the Cavs coasted to victory.
The Mavericks took a slim 24-22 edge after the first 12 minutes of the
game and continued to hold a slim advantage, 49-48, into intermission.
Stackhouse had 17 points at the half to pace the Mavericks while James netted
15 for the Cavs.
With his 46 points, James became the youngest player in NBA history to surpass
the 6,000-point plateau…This was the 43rd time this season James has netted
30-plus points and the ninth time he has scored 40 or more…The Cavs have won
seven in a row at home and are 27-10 in Cleveland this season.