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Minnesota at Cleveland

LeBron shurgs off sprained ankle, drills T-Wolves for 30 in win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- LeBron James had no trouble with his aching ankle Friday night.

Listed as a game-time decision after spraining his right ankle Wednesday night, James had 30 points and 13 assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 92-84 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The NBA's leading scorer was hurt in Wednesday's loss in Boston. James showed no effects from the injury against the Timberwolves. He had six dunks, keyed several fast breaks and fell two rebounds short of his seventh triple-double of the season.

"LeBron was terrific," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said.

Cleveland led for most of the second half, but Minnesota cut the lead to 79-75 with 4:37 left in the game. The Cavaliers regrouped after a timeout, scoring the next 11 points. Ben Wallace scored two baskets in the lane off passes from James, and Delonte West stole the ball at midcourt and scored on a dunk to spark the run. James finished it off with a dunk.

"He makes things happen, especially in transition," said Timberwolves swingman Corey Brewer, who spent time trying to defend James. "He's a tough guy to stop, probably the best in the league."

James brought the crowd to its feet with a dunk off an alley-oop pass from guard Damon Jones on a fast break late in the second quarter.

"He had a one-on-three," said James, as he soaked both feet in a large tub of ice water. "He threw it up there and he let me go get it."

There may be even more bad news for the Cavaliers' upcoming opponents. The four players acquired in the Feb. 21 three-team, 11-player trade are meshing with their new teammates.

"Delonte is a push guard," James said. "I'm starting to realize I can just run the floor and get down the lane quicker. That's what I'm good at."

"That's the result of more practices," said West, who added 12 points. "We have guys here who have been in the league. It's not that hard to pick up guys' tendencies."

The Cavaliers' defense tightened up late in the game. Minnesota missed its next five shots and had two turnovers after cutting the lead to four.

"It was crisp in the last 4½ minutes," James said. "We locked down defensively and that allowed us to get what we wanted on the offensive end."

The Timberwolves have lost nine of 11 and are 2-25 on the road.

"You're going to have games like that," Minnesota coach Randy Wittman said. "We just have to bounce back, which we will."

Devin Brown scored 13 points for the Cavaliers. Jones and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 11 and 10, respectively.

Al Jefferson led Minnesota with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Brewer added 15 points while Ryan Gomes scored 13.

Leading by four at halftime, the Cavaliers quickly jumped out to an eight-point advantage again early in the third period, but Minnesota took a 54-53 lead on a 3-pointer by Sebastian Telfair.

The Cavaliers went on a 13-5 run to end the period. James had two dunks, including one off a nice pass from West on a fast break. West hit three baskets, including a 3-pointer.

A 3-pointer from the corner by Jones, a three-point play by James and another dunk by James upped the lead to 74-63 early in the fourth, but Minnesota got back in the game.

The Cavaliers host Chicago on Sunday afternoon, 10 days after the teams and Seattle were involved in the 11-player deal. Guard Larry Hughes and forward Drew Gooden, two key players dealt to the Bulls in the trade, will return to Cleveland. The Cavaliers also dealt guards Shannon Brown and Cedric Simmons to Chicago. Wallace and Joe Smith were traded from Chicago to Cleveland.

"It's going to be a little personal," James said. "It's going to be different for me playing against those guys. I'm looking forward to it."

The Cavaliers were without recently acquired Wally Szczerbiak. His wife, Shannon, is expecting the couple's third child. In three games with the Cavaliers, he is averaging 11.7 points.

Notes

  • The Cavaliers are 2-2 since the players acquired in the deal joined the team.
  • Guards Daniel Gibson (left ankle sprain) and Sasha Pavlovic (left foot sprain) are still out with injuries.
  • The Timberwolves fell to 12-45.
  • Minnesota forward Antoine Walker was inactive. The veteran is seeking a buyout of his contract by Saturday, but an agreement doesn't appear imminent.
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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LeBron James (30 poins, 13 assists) seems OK after spraining his ankle on Wednesday.  (Getty Images)
LeBron James (30 poins, 13 assists) seems OK after spraining his ankle on Wednesday. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Minnesota (12-45) 2016232584
Cleveland (33-26) «2020262692
MIN:A. Jefferson 22 Pts
MIN:A. Jefferson 10 Reb
MIN:R. McCants 3 Ast
CLE:L. James 30 Pts
CLE:B. Wallace 9 Reb
CLE:L. James 13 Ast
Players of the Game
ClevelandMinnesota

L. James

A. Jefferson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
3081322102
Minnesota
A. Jefferson, PF4110-222-2102322
C. Brewer, SF395-105-542315
S. Telfair, PG384-110-032311
R. Foye, PG341-92-24234
R. Gomes, PF336-160-071113
R. McCants, SG284-110-033311
C. Smith, PF184-50-28138
M. Jaric, SF60-20-00120
C. Richard, PF40-10-01010
A. Walker, SFDid Not Play
G. Buckner, SGDid Not Play
M. Doleac, CDid Not Play
M. Madsen, PFDid Not Play
K. Snyder, SGDid Not Play
T. Ratliff, CDid Not Play
Totals 34-879-1140142284
 39.1%81.8% 
Cleveland
L. James, SF4411-227-9813230
D. West, SG425-101-235312
D. Brown, SG395-103-442013
B. Wallace, C294-50-09008
Z. Ilgauskas, C254-82-461210
A. Varejao, C232-80-07004
D. Jones, PG194-91-101011
J. Smith, PF171-20-03112
K. Dickens, SF10-00-00000
B. Thomas, SG10-00-00010
D. Jones, PF10-02-20002
E. Snow, PGDid Not Play
W. Szczerbiak, SFDid Not Play
S. Pavlovic, SGDid Not Play
D. Gibson, PGDid Not Play
Totals 36-7416-224023992
 48.6%72.7% 
Other Games
Ind 122 Final
Tor 111
NY 93 Final
Atl 99
Char 100 Final
Bos 108
Utah 98 Final
NO 110
Wash 97 Final
Chi 91
Sac 106 Final
Dal 115
Mem 95 Final
Hou 116
LAC 104 Final
Den 110
Phi 97 Final
GS 119
LAL 111 Final
Port 119
Mia 103 Final
Sea 93