Thursday , May , 04 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

LeBron, Cavs outlast Arenas, Wizards in Game 5

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – LeBron James added to his growing playoff
lure, driving baseline and converting a game-winning layup with just less than
a second remaining in overtime to lift fourth-seeded Cleveland to a
121-120 victory over Washington in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference
quarterfinal at Quicken Loans Arena.

James and Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas played a game of “can you top this” in
the instant-classic playoff contest before a capacity crowd in Cleveland.
James poured in a playoff-high 45 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished
out six assists in the victory. Arenas almost matched the Cavs star point for
point, scoring a career playoff-high 44 points in the loss.

Cleveland now holds a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series and can advance to
the next round with a victory in Game 6 scheduled for Friday night in the
nation’s capitol.

Larry Hughes sprang for 24 points and Flip Murray donated 12 points off the
bench. Eric Snow tallied the Cavs’ first five points of overtime and finished
with 18 points.

Antawn Jamison contributed 32 points and Caron Butler came up large down the
stretch with 20 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out during the extra
session. Antonio Daniels added 13 points and seven assists in defeat.

Snow’s acrobatic, left-handed layup over Brendan Haywood gave Cleveland a
113-109 lead with 3:48 left in overtime.

Arenas then drained a tough fadeaway and Butler buried a jumper to square the
contest at 113-113 with 2:48 on the clock.

Jamison made 1-of-2 from the line to hand Washington the lead, but Murray
netted a short jumper and James made two free throws to make the score

Butler then converted a pair from the charity stripe and Arenas’ layup again
gave Washington the slight edge, 118-117.

Each defense was determined to make James and Arenas earn every point, as both
players were fouled hard while driving to the basket on consecutive
possessions. Both made a pair of free throws to keep Washington in front,
120-119, with 3.6 ticks left.

Cleveland called timeout and James caught the inbounds pass in the left
corner. Three Wizards collapsed on the guard, but all three gave James a clear
path on the baseline. James darted toward the basket and converted the layup
with 0.9 seconds to play.

Washington threw the ball to Arenas, but he came up short on the three-quarter
court heave as time expired.

The Wizards stormed back from a seven-point deficit in the final 2:40 to force
overtime. Arenas showed his unselfishness by setting up Butler for a power
layup to cut the deficit to 105-100 with 1:56 left.

After two free throws by James, the Wizards got the ball in space to Daniels
and the guard converted a finger roll while being fouled. The successful bonus
shot completed a three-point play and made the score 107-103.

Jamison missed a short jumper with just under 40 ticks left, but Butler
grabbed the rebound on the baseline and went up strong for the putback to make
the score 107-105.

James turned the ball over on the other end, and Daniels pushed the ball ahead
to Butler for the streaking layup to square the contest at 107-107 with just
7.5 seconds remaining.

Cleveland called timeout and got the ball to James, but the superstar missed a
jumper over two Washington defenders as time expired.

The Cavaliers held a 52-51 lead at the half and a 85-81 edge at the end of
three quarters.

Game Notes

Cleveland improved to 6-0 in overtime games this season…The Cavs shot 54.3
percent from the floor, but attempted just five three-pointers…Washington
drained 9-of-20 from beyond the arc, including a 6-of-9 effort from
Arenas…Cleveland held a 46-34 edge on the glass…There were 17 lead changes
and 21 ties, as the game remained close throughout.