LeBron’s late basket lifts Cavs over Hornets
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) – LeBron James hit the game-winning basket
with 0.5 seconds left to lift the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 103-101 victory
over the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets at the Ford Center.
James finished the game with 32 points and six assists and Ronald Murray added
25 points for the Cavaliers, who have won two straight and 11 of their last 12
Donyell Marshall had 16 points and seven boards for Cleveland, which has the
fourth spot in the Eastern Conference all wrapped up.
Chris Paul had 22 points and eight rebounds and Speedy Claxton and David West
each chipped in with 14 points for the Hornets, who have dropped their last
two games and now stand 3 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot in the
Western Conference with five games to play.
The final quarter went back and forth, but with Cleveland holding a precarious
101-100 lead, Desmond Mason was fouled with 5.8 seconds left and tied the game
up with after hitting one-of-two from the charity stripe.
Cleveland called timeout after the free throw and on the in-bounds pass got
the ball in the hands of James. He pulled up at the top of the arc and let fly
with a jumper that hit nothing but net to give the Cavaliers the two-point
lead with 0.5 seconds to play. The Hornets were unable to get a shot off
before time expired.
The Hornets started the final 12 minutes with an 8-3 run and cut the Cavaliers
lead to 84-82 after Marc Jackson hit two from the line with 9:28 left.
However, Damon Jones responded with a trey to give the Cavs a 87-82 lead with
A short while later Paul calmly drained two from the charity stripe to tie the
game up at 88-88 with 5:58 remaining. Murray, though, responded with a three-
pointer and then connected on one from the line to make it 92-88 with 5:10
left. But, Paul hit two free throws and Jackson’s running jumper tied the game
back up with 3:50 to play.
The game went back and forth for the next two minutes. But, with the score
knotted at 96-96 James connected on a free throw and Marshall drained a three-
pointer from the right side to give Cleveland a 100-96 lead.
Claxton connected on a jumper, but Anderson Varejao connected on one-of-two
from the line for the 101-98 lead with 36.9 left. After a Hornets timeout,
Paul was fouled with 30 seconds left and he drained both baskets to cut the
lead to 101-100 before the final moments of the game.
The opening 12 minutes were tight, but thanks to baskets by Claxton and Paul,
the Hornets took a 26-23 lead into the second quarter.
New Orleans/Oklahoma City continued to push its advantage ahead throughout the
second quarter and thanks to 11 straight points the team held a 63-52 lead
going into the locker room.
The Hornets, though, started out the second half flat and allowed the
Cavaliers to score the first nine points. The Cavaliers took a 81-75 lead
heading into the final 12 minutes.
Cleveland plays in Detroit on Wednesday…The Hornets host Seattle on
Wednesday…Jackson finished with 13 points and six rebounds…Cleveland shot
53.6 percent in the game…The Hornets only managed to make 41.8 percent of
their baskets, but did manage to win the battle of the boards, 49-35.