James, Cavaliers sweep Wizards
Washington, DC (Sports Network) – LeBron James scored 31 points, grabbed 11
rebounds and dished out seven assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a
sweep of the Washington Wizards with a 97-90 win at the Verizon Center.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 20 points and 19 rebounds, hitting a pair of key
baskets down the stretch, for the Cavs, who swept a playoff series for the
first time in franchise history.
Larry Hughes tallied 19 points and Drew Gooden had 14 points and eight boards
for Cleveland, which will next face either New Jersey or Toronto in the
Eastern Conference semifinals.
“These guys made us work for everything that we got — it wasn’t an easy
series,” said Ilgauskas. “Every game we had to work for it. It was a tough
series, even though the results may not show it, but it was tough, trust me,
and it will help us down the road.”
Antawn Jamison had 31 points to lead the Wizards, who kept it close for most
of the game until running out of firepower at the end. Darius Songaila added
16 points and Antonio Daniels recorded 13 points and 12 assists for
Washington, which played the series without its injured All-Stars Gilbert
Arenas and Caron Butler.
“It was a good game,” said Songaila. “We did everything we could. Guys came
off the bench and did a great job. You always appreciate your fans and they
appreciate you as long as you play hard, and I think we did that. We were
there every game. Unfortunately we could not get it done.”
After three free throws by Jamison gave the Wizards an 80-77 lead with 5:37
left, the Cavs scored the next six points to go ahead for good. Hughes’
consecutive jumpers gave Cleveland the lead and capped the run for an 83-80
lead with 4:03 left.
Later, ahead 89-88, Ilgauskas hit a pair of layups, his second coming with 33
seconds left for a 93-88 cushion and the Cavs cruised to the final buzzer.
Cleveland also beat the Wizards in the first round of the playoffs last
The first quarter was close throughout with Andray Blatche’s conventional
three-point play with 40 seconds left giving Washington a 23-22 lead going
into the second.
The Wizards proceeded to score the first seven points of the second quarter to
go ahead by eight points, but Cleveland quickly responded and regained the
lead at 34-32 following four straight free throws by James.
Washington later scored five straight points to take a 39-36 lead and the
Wizards went into the break with the same three-point edge, 47-44.
A pair of three-pointers, one by Jamison and the other by Jarvis Hayes, to
start the third quarter gave Washington a nine-point cushion.
Cleveland later cut the deficit to just one point, and a 7-2 burst gave the
Cavs a short-lived 66-65 edge after James converted a layup with 23 seconds
left in the stanza. Daniels’ layup in the final seconds, however, sent the
Wizards into the fourth with a 67-66 lead.
Cleveland shot 28-of-31 from the free throw line, compared to 16-of-18 for
Washington…The Cavs also outboarded the Wizards 46-35…This was the fifth
straight elimination game that the Wizards have lost in the playoffs…New
Jersey and Toronto play Game 5 of their series on Tuesday. The Nets lead the