James, Cavaliers mount comeback over Kings
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – LeBron James scored 34 points, 24 in a
second half in which the Cavaliers overcame an early 17-point deficit and
defeated the Sacramento Kings, 108-98.
Drew Gooden scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Cleveland, which has
won five straight, and eight of nine. Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 17 points and
raked in nine boards for the Cavs, and Damon Jones added 14 points in the win.
“We were very defensive-minded,” James said. “Defensively, we’re a very good
team and that’s what we had to take care of in the second half.”
Mike Bibby scored 26 points, for the Kings, who dropped their third straight.
Brad Miller scored 24 points for Sacramento, and Kevin Martin scored 23 points
and pulled down 11 boards.
“We felt really good at halftime because we were up by 15 points, and then at
the start of the fourth quarter we looked up and our lead was gone,” Martin
said. “The Cavaliers started hitting their shots and LeBron James came out
hitting some tough shots.”
The Cavs appeared to be headed for defeat after a Martin trey put the Kings up
61-44 with just over 10 minutes left in the third quarter. The Cavs clamped
down on defense, though, and James took over on the offensive end to spark an
Cleveland scored 10 straight, with a Gooden tip-in slicing the Sacramento lead
to seven points at 61-54 with 5:04 left in the third. Ron Artest answered with
two baskets, and the Kings looked like they survived the Cleveland push, but
the Cavs had more left in the tank. James hit consecutive jumpers late in the
quarter to power Cleveland to nine straight points, and the Cavs took a 70-68
lead on a three-point play by Anderson Varejao with 53 seconds left.
Cleveland led 75-70 entering the final quarter, a 37-17 performance in a third
quarter that turned a 17-point Cavs deficit into a five-point advantage.
James went off early in the fourth, scoring 11 straight Cleveland points,
including three straight treys. He finished off the stretch with a jumper that
put Cleveland ahead 88-75 with just over eight minutes left. A dunk by James a
minute later pushed the Cavs lead to 92-76, marking an incredible 33-point
turnaround from the 61-44 deficit that Cleveland faced early in the second
The Kings made it interesting with a 15-4 run to close to within 98-94 late in
the fourth quarter, but Gooden answered with a three-point play to put the
Cavs up 101-94 with 1:08 left, and Cleveland held on for the win.
Bibby scored 12 points in the first quarter to power the Kings to a 30-22 lead
entering the second.
The Kings led 53-38 at the half.
Cleveland improved to 7-9 on the road this season, compared to their 15-3 mark
at home…Cleveland shot 61 percent from the field in the third
quarter…Bibby only scored six of his 26 points in the second half.