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Philadelphia at Cleveland

Cleveland comes out on top after LeBron-Iverson duel

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

CLEVELAND -- The Cavaliers finally located their missing 7-foot-3 center.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas, mostly forgotten in Cleveland's offense, scored a season-high 18 points with 15 rebounds, and LeBron James had 25 points and 11 assists in a 108-95 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

Ilgauskas came in averaging nine points per game -- six below his career average -- and the center hasn't been as involved in Cleveland's new offensive schemes as much as he or Cavs coach Mike Brown would like.

"My fault," Brown said before the game.

Ilgauskas scored just two points and took only two shots in Friday night's loss at Indiana. He and Brown met in the coach's office about 90 minutes before tipoff with the Sixers, and whatever they discussed became Cleveland's gameplan.

The Cavaliers did more to get Ilgauskas the ball in good scoring spots and he responded by scoring 12 points in the first half. He had his 18 by the end of the third quarter, when Cleveland opened an 82-70 lead.

"It got to the point where we said, 'Screw the offense,"' James said. "There were some (play) calls we made that had nothing to do with our offense. We've got to find a way to get 'Z' in a comfort zone."

Ilgauskas tied a team record with 12 offensive rebounds and had five blocks. Cleveland's big man also dived to the floor several times for loose balls. The Cavaliers, playing their fourth game in five nights, have won six straight at home.

"'Z' did a tremendous job," Brown said. "He got on the ground three or four times going after loose balls, that's a heck of an effort for a guy that's 7-foot-3. His points and rebounds were tremendous, but his five blocks is what I like to see."

Allen Iverson scored 31 points on just 10-of-28 shooting to lead Philadelphia. Andre Iguodala added 17 and Willie Green 13 for the Sixers, who played their fifth straight game without Chris Webber.

Coming off a 123-108 win over Chicago, the Sixers started fast and built a 13-point lead in the first quarter but couldn't sustain it.

"We gave the game away," Iverson said. "We just stopped playing. There ain't a whole bunch to say. We jumped right on them. I know games have two halves. But we had that game. No way are we supposed to give that up.

"Honestly, I feel like this is the worst loss that we've had this year. It's just a complete breakdown."

Trailing by 13 early in the fourth, Philadelphia pulled within 94-86 on two free throws by Samuel Dalembert with 5:24 left. But Ilgauskas came back in off the bench, and although he didn't score, his return sparked the Cavs.

Eric Snow hit a jump shot, Drew Gooden scored in the lane and James completed a three-point play to put the Cavaliers, wearing orange throwback uniforms from the 1980s, up 101-86 with 3:04 remaining.

With Ilgauskas leading the charge, the Cavaliers outrebounded Philadelphia 49-36.

During one sequence, Ilgauskas played a solo game of volleyball around the rim, outreaching Sixers defenders to keep the ball alive.

"I got off to a little bit of a slow start, but they kept calling plays for me," said Ilgauskas, who played a season-high 36 minutes. "It was nice to get back into the offense."

Cleveland trailed by nine points after one, and the Cavaliers began the second quarter with a lineup featuring Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao but not James. Without their superstar, the Cavs rallied and opened the period with a 13-2 run, taking their first lead on Sasha Pavlovic's three-point play.

Later, Ilgauskas scored six points and Damon Jones drained a 3-pointer during a 10-0 burst that put Cleveland up 46-36.

In the final minute of the half, James gave the sellout crowd what they came to see when he grabbed an alley-oop pass from Jones, and rising to almost eye level with the rim, rifled his dunk through.

Notes

  • Archie Griffin, Ohio State's two-time Heisman Trophy winner, sat courtside and joined the crowd in spelling out 'O-H-I-O' during "Hang On Sloopy."
  • Cavs G Larry Hughes missed his sixth straight game with a high ankle sprain. He's expected to be back when Cleveland hosts New York on Wednesday.
  • Webber (lower back soreness) didn't make the trip. Coach Maurice Cheeks said Webber will also sit out Monday's game in Miami.
  • Sixers F-C Steven Hunter didn't dress because of a sprained right knee. He may be ready for the Heat.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Zydrunas Ilgauskas, on the floor here, ties a team record with 12 offensive rebounds.  (AP)
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, on the floor here, ties a team record with 12 offensive rebounds. (AP)
Scoreboard
Philadelphia (5-8) 2513322595
Cleveland (9-5) «16353126108
PHI:A. Iverson 31 Pts
PHI:S. Dalembert 8 Reb
PHI:K. Ollie 3 Ast
CLE:L. James 25 Pts
CLE:Z. Ilgauskas 15 Reb
CLE:L. James 11 Ast
Players of the Game
ClevelandPhiladelphia

L. James

A. Iverson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
254113142

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Philadelphia
A. Iverson, PG4310-2810-1242031
A. Iguodala, SF435-76-683117
S. Dalembert, C361-34-68036
S. Randolph, PF235-82-260312
K. Ollie, PG160-20-02310
W. Green, SG305-122-231113
K. Korver, SF272-90-02146
A. Henderson, PF151-53-42035
R. Carney, SF72-31-21025
C. Webber, PFDid Not Play
L. Williams, SGDid Not Play
S. Hunter, CDid Not Play
B. Jones, SFDid Not Play
I. McFarlin, PFDid Not Play
S. Smith, SFDid Not Play
Totals 31-7728-3436101895
 40.3%82.4% 
Cleveland
L. James, SF4110-204-7411425
Z. Ilgauskas, C368-172-2152518
E. Snow, PG334-73-438311
D. Gooden, PF276-110-080313
S. Brown, SG151-61-41013
D. Jones, PG344-81-134112
S. Pavlovic, SF233-61-16338
A. Varejao, PF225-91-180311
D. Marshall, PF102-51-21027
S. Pollard, CDid Not Play
L. Hughes, SGDid Not Play
I. Newble, SFDid Not Play
D. Wesley, SGDid Not Play
D. Jones, PFDid Not Play
D. Gibson, PGDid Not Play
Totals 43-8914-22492825108
 48.3%63.6% 
Other Games
Mia 102 Final
Char 93
Atl 79 Final
Orl 98
Det 115 Final
Wash 111
Chi 106 Final
NY 95
LAC 96 Final
Min 104
NO 73 Final
Dal 85
Mem 76 Final
Hou 85
Bos 111 Final
Mil 98
Port 85 Final
Sac 105
Utah 78 Final
GS 91