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Cleveland at Golden State

LeBron just misses triple-double as Cavs pull out victory

CBSSports.com wire reports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The water-saturated stat sheet floated between LeBron James' shins as he soaked his feet in the ice bath. Lifting one swollen eyelid, he could just make out his numbers: 24 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists and three big blocked shots.

Yet the most eye-popping parts of James' all-out effort in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 108-104 victory against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night weren't reflected in that soggy box score.

For starters, James took an accidental blow to the face in the first quarter, but barely missed 90 seconds before returning. He barked orders at his teammates with authority, and he demanded a fourth-quarter defensive assignment on Baron Davis.

And when the Warriors triple-teamed him with the game on the line, James got what coach Mike Brown termed "the big hockey assist," making the pass that led to the pass that set up the shot that won it for Cleveland.

James already has a place among the NBA's elite, yet he's still growing -- and his latest sublime performance was a sight for a sore eye.

"It bothered me some, and it's bothering me now, but I had to be there for my teammates," said James, who fell shy of his 11th career triple-double. "If I could barely see, I still had to be out there."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 22 points and 13 rebounds for the short-handed Eastern Conference champions, who kept the Warriors winless with a calm finish on their third victory in their past four trips to Golden State.

Cleveland went up 103-98 with 1:03 left after Damon Jones' 3-pointer and Ilgauskas' free throws, but Golden State trimmed the lead to one point on Davis' free throws and Andris Biedrins' hook shot.

James drew three defenders on the Cavs' next possession. He passed to Ilgauskas, who quickly rotated the ball to Daniel Gibson -- and the playoff hero's 3-pointer with 19 seconds left sealed Cleveland's second victory of the season. Gibson finished with 22 points.

"That's the way I envision our team eventually playing every day," Brown said. "Our guys did a great job driving and kicking the basketball. ... I take my hat off to our guys. It was absolutely fun basketball down the stretch."

Davis, who sat out both of the Cavaliers' past two visits to Oakland because of suspensions, had 29 points and 10 assists. Monta Ellis scored 22 points and Al Harrington added 19 for the Warriors, who fell to 0-4 in their tough early season schedule without suspended swingman Stephen Jackson.

"I felt we were playing good basketball, and at one point we had the game under control," Davis said. "Then we had a couple of bad breaks defensively. It's a tough loss, but it was a great NBA game. We're young, and we keep trying to figure it out. (James) dominated the game. He's a great player."

The Cavaliers played without guard Larry Hughes, who bruised his left knee in a collision with Phoenix's Leandro Barbosa on Sunday in the opening game of their six-stop road trip. Sasha Pavlovic scored only six points on 2-of-11 shooting in Hughes' starting spot, and only seven players scored for the Cavs.

"It's a challenge for me, but I'm trying to do more things in my game," James said. "We're not as deep as they are, but we're experienced, and we know how to play basketball."

James left the court after Biedrins accidentally hit him in the face while reaching for a rebound. James walked gingerly to the locker room with a towel over his left eye, but returned moments later.

This wasn't James' first big night in Oakland. He got the second triple-double of his career against the Warriors nearly three years ago -- a feat that occurred only three nights after he became the youngest player in NBA history with a triple-double.

Davis and James dueled down the stretch this time, with James sometimes guarding the Warriors' smaller star when Golden State had the ball. James made his biggest defensive plays on Golden State's fast breaks, roaring from behind to swat away layup attempts three times.

"The key plays were the three blocks by James in the open court," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "All three blocks were sensational, just phenomenal. ... We played our best game of the year. We had a chance to win."

Ellis scored 14 points in the second quarter as the Warriors erased Cleveland's 10-point lead. Golden State closed the third quarter on a 13-2 run, taking the lead entering the fourth on Ellis' buzzer-beating 3-pointer.


  • Cleveland also played without F Donyell Marshall (sprained right wrist) and G Eric Snow (sprained left knee).
  • Harrington dunked on James in the third quarter, earning a standing ovation from the Oakland crowd.
  • Ellis, who made only 27 percent of his 3-point attempts last season, was 3-for-4 after missing every 3-pointer he shot in the Warriors' first three games.
Copyright 2015 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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LeBron James does his best Magic Johnson impression, falling one assist shy of a triple-double.  (Getty Images)
LeBron James does his best Magic Johnson impression, falling one assist shy of a triple-double. (Getty Images)
Cleveland (2-2) «29252628108
Golden State (0-4) 23312723104
CLE:L. James 24 Pts
CLE:L. James 14 Reb
CLE:L. James 9 Ast
GS:B. Davis 29 Pts
GS:A. Biedrins 11 Reb
GS:B. Davis 10 Ast
Players of the Game
Golden StateCleveland

B. Davis

L. James

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L. James, SF429-165-7149124
Z. Ilgauskas, C389-154-6131422
D. Gooden, PF377-142-483416
D. Gibson, PG358-141-133322
S. Pavlovic, SG322-112-22236
D. Brown, SG272-83-46858
D. Jones, PG244-80-114210
I. Newble, SF30-10-00000
D. Jones, PF20-00-00010
D. Marshall, PFDid Not Play
E. Snow, PGDid Not Play
L. Hughes, SGDid Not Play
S. Brown, PGDid Not Play
C. Simmons, SFDid Not Play
D. Nichols, SFDid Not Play
Totals 41-8717-25473023108
Golden State
B. Davis, PG4611-286-9410229
A. Biedrins, C415-62-4114312
A. Harrington, PF368-152-2104319
K. Azubuike, SF292-102-24116
M. Pietrus, SF202-41-23146
M. Ellis, SG337-195-761122
M. Barnes, SF264-80-041410
P. O'Bryant, C50-00-00010
B. Wright, SF40-10-01000
A. Croshere, PFDid Not Play
T. Hudson, PGDid Not Play
K. Perovic, CDid Not Play
M. Belinelli, SGDid Not Play
S. Lasme, PFDid Not Play
Totals 39-9118-26432219104
Other Games
Pho 115 Final
Char 83
Atl 82 Final
NJ 87
Den 112 Final
NY 119
Tor 85 Final
Mil 112
Orl 111 Final
Min 103
LAC 97 Final
Chi 91
SA 81 Final
Hou 89
Sea 98 Final
Sac 104
NO 118 Final
LAL 104