Saturday , Apr , 28 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Cavaliers try to take commanding 3-0 lead in Washington

(Sports Network) – The second-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers hope to take a
commanding 3-0 lead over the seventh-seeded Washington Wizards in the first
round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, as the teams battle today at the
Verizon Center.

In Game 1, Larry Hughes scored 27 points and pulled down seven rebounds as
Cleveland downed Washington, 97-82, in the opener of the series at Quicken
Loans Arena. Superstar LeBron James finished with 23 points, nine boards and
seven assists in the victory.

On Wednesday, James scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half and also
collected eight rebounds and seven assists to lead the Cavaliers to a 2-0
series lead over the Wizards with a 109-102 win at Quicken Loans Arena.

James leads the Cavaliers in scoring (25.0 ppg) and assists (7.0 apg) in the
first two games against Washington, while Hughes is averaging 23.0 points and
Drew Gooden has pulled down a team-best 10.0 rebounds per game.

Antawn Jamison has been the injury-riddled Wizards best player in the
playoffs. He leads Washington in scoring (29.5 ppg) and rebounding (12.0 rpg),
while Jarvis Hayes is second on the club in scoring at just 11.5 points per
game.

Washington does not have All-Stars Gilbert Arenas (knee) and Caron Butler
(hand) for the entire playoffs after both were lost for the season due to
injury. Arenas lead the Wizards in scoring (28.4 ppg) and assists (6.0 apg)
during the regular season, while Butler averaged 19.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and
3.7 assists.

This is a best-of-seven series. Game 4 is scheduled for Monday at the Verizon
Center.

Cleveland has won three straight Game 3s in the postseason, while Washington
has lost two straight Games 3s.

The Cavaliers eliminated Washington in six games in the first round of last
year’s conference playoffs. Cleveland was then ousted by Detroit in the next
round.

The Wizards are in the postseason for a third consecutive year and are meeting
Cleveland in the playoffs for the fourth time. The only time Washington
defeated the Cavaliers in the postseason was when it took two of three games
in the first round of the 1977 NBA Playoffs.

The Cavs lead the all-time playoff series with Washington by an 11-7 count.

CLE WAS