Cavs, minus LeBron, pound Kings
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – The Cavaliers learned just before tip-off
that they would be without the services of superstar forward LeBron James, but
it was no matter as Larry Hughes and Sasha Pavlovic scored 25 points each,
a career high for Pavlovic, and Cleveland routed the Sacramento Kings,
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Cavs, who
won their sixth straight. Drew Gooden finished with 10 points and 10 boards,
and Ira Newble added 12 points for the Cavs.
“Any win is big, especially when you don’t have LeBron,” said Newble.
James sat with back spasms, and will travel with the team to Memphis, where he
will be evaluated before Wednesday’s game against the Grizzlies.
Ron Artest, in his second game back from a suspension following his arrest
last week on suspicion of domestic violence, finished with 19 points for the
Kings, who dropped their third in a row. Kevin Martin scored 13 points and
Mike Bibby finished with 12 for Sacramento.
The Cavs took over in the third quarter, outscoring the Kings 35-18 in the
period. Pavlovic kicked things off with a three on Cleveland’s first
possession, spurring a 24-5 run to start the quarter, staking the Cavs to a
Sacramento scored eight straight to cut the deficit to 75-64, but the Cavs
answered with an 11-2 run, taking an 86-66 lead on a Pavlovic alley-oop dunk
with seven seconds left in the quarter.
John Salmons hit a three for Sacramento at the buzzer, but the Kings still
trailed 86-69 entering the fourth quarter.
The Kings never threatened down the stretch, trailing by at least 15 points
for the entire fourth quarter.
“I could mention everybody,” said Cavs head coach Mike Brown. “It was an
entire group that played the right way on both ends that helped us get this
The Cavs led, 25-19, after the first quarter.
Artest and Bibby netted 10 points each in the second quarter, helping
Sacramento erase the Cleveland lead. A Bibby jumper in the final seconds of
the half tied the game at 51 entering the break.
Cleveland improved to 3-0 this season when playing without James, who missed
two games in January with a sprained right big toe. The Cavs are a surprising
9-2 when James has had to sit during his career…Cleveland dominated on the
boards, outrebounding the Kings 51-33.