Saturday, February 28, 2004

NBA: LeBron works OT for 30 in victory

The Associated Press

ORLANDO - LeBron James scored six of his 30 points in overtime and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 28 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 112-107 victory Friday night over the Orlando Magic.

James, who committed an offensive foul on Cleveland's final possession of regulation, also had 11 rebounds as the Cavaliers won after blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead. Carlos Boozer added 17 points and 16 rebounds, and Jeff McInnis had 16 points and 10 assists.

The Magic tied the game on three free throws by Tracy McGrady, who was fouled by Boozer on a 3-point attempt with nine seconds to play in regulation.

McGrady finished with 35 points but shot only 11-of-32. Juwan Howard added 14 points and Drew Gooden had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

The Cavs led 90-72 with 8:44 left after a 3-pointer by Jason Kapono, but the Magic fought back from there. They went on a 18-4 run, fueled by a defense that forced five turnovers and created numerous fast-break opportunities.

McGrady scored seven points off those turnovers, including a three-point play that made it 94-90 with 3:31 to go. McInnis hit a short jumper to make it 96-93 with 3:01 to play, and neither team scored again until Boozer's follow shot with 30 seconds to play made it 98-93.

James had 19 points in the first half when the Cavaliers led by as many as 12 points.

. Celtics 88, Raptors 75

BOSTON - In a matchup of teams with seven-game losing streaks, Paul Pierce scored 21 points and Brandon Hunter grabbed 16 rebounds in his second career start to lead Boston.

The seven-game losing streak was the Celtics' longest since they dropped 10 in a row from March 20 to April 7, 2000.

The Raptors, who have dropped to seventh place in the East, held the lead only once in the first quarter and never rebounded from a nearly three-minute scoring drought in which the Celtics took a 30-18 lead.

Boston's advantage swelled to as many as 26 points, 63-37, in the third quarter after Chucky Atkins fed Pierce in transition for a layup.

Mark Blount had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics, and Hunter and Jiri Welsch added 11 points each.

Donyell Marshall recorded his 25th double-double of the season, scoring 19 points with 13 rebounds for Toronto. Michael Curry and Lamond Murray added 10 points apiece.

REFEREES PROTEST: In an act of protest, NBA referees turned their jerseys inside-out Friday night and wore No. 62 - the number assigned to a disciplined colleague.

Referee Michael Henderson's bad call at the end of Wednesday night's Lakers-Nuggets game was publicly acknowledged Thursday by the NBA.

Henderson was taken off three job assignments and summoned to the league office, the referees' association said.

"An unprecedented job action was taken against one of their colleagues, so an unprecedented response was necessary," said Larnell McMorris, a spokesman and negotiator for the National Basketball Referees Association.

Referees at all 10 NBA games Friday night were expected to wear Henderson's number, McMorris said.

The NBA released a statement from deputy commissioner Russ Granik saying any referees taking part in the protest "will be subject to appropriate discipline."

ROCKETS: Guard Cuttino Mobley was fined $5,000 for publicly criticizing the referees following the San Antonio Spurs 86-77 win.

WARRIORS: Point guard Speedy Claxton will be sidelined for at least three weeks with a broken bone in his right hand.

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NBA: LeBron works OT for 30 in victory
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