L&L Come Up Big
It was the Lebron and Larry show Tuesday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers (6-2) won their fifth straight overall and their fourth straight at home, defeating the Washington Wizards (5-2) 114-99. James scored a season-high 37, and collected 10 rebounds. Hughes had 22 points and eight assists. James, who helped recruit Hughes as a free agent during the offseason, scored just two points in the first quarter but followed with 14 in the second, 14 in the third and seven in the fourth before leaving with 2:32 left. He reminded Hughes why he came to Cleveland. Driving to the basket at every opportunity, James went 6-for-8 from the floor in the third. His three-point play in the final second gave the Cavs an 82-70 lead entering the fourth. Cavaliers coach Mike Brown tried to substitute for James “three or four times” in the first quarter, but it seemed like as soon as Jackson vacated his seat and headed for the scorer’s table, James responded with big plays.
“I hit a couple 3s and a dunk and I saw the guy who was coming to get me sit back down,” said James, who added 10 rebounds in 42 minutes.
Brown felt bad for Jackson and tried to make him feel better.
“I kissed him on the forehead one time,” Brown said. “But that’s kind of embarrassing for an NBA player.”
Hughes, who played for the Wizards last season, shot only 6-for-18, but he added eight assists and made two three-pointers and scored 12 points in the final 5:03.
Washington’s Gilbert Arenas, who scored a league-high 43 on Saturday against San Antonio, was held to 18 — 10 below his average — and shot just 4-for-17. Antawn Jamison led the Wizards with 26 points, and Caron Butler had 14.
“I couldn’t get to the basket,” Arenas said. “Every time we made a run, LeBron answered. We just didn’t have it tonight.”
With James on the bench, the Wizards pulled to 86-77 early in the fourth on a lay-up by Antonio Daniels. But James came back after sitting for only 1:12, and the Cavaliers immediately went on an 8-0 run.
Moments later, Hughes drained a three-pointer and Drew Gooden scored on a put-back as the Cavaliers opened a 101-86 lead and coasted.
Before the game, Hughes was asked how much he was looking forward to playing the Wizards.
“I definitely want to win so I talk a little smack to those guys,” Hughes said. “I was one of the oldest guys on that team and they kind of looked up to me.”
Arenas came in as the league’s hottest player after scoring 75 points in his previous two games, but he never got into a rhythm as Hughes and the Cavaliers chased him all over the floor.
“I was calling out their plays,” Hughes said. “I was with them long enough that I knew where their guys were going.”
Following the game, Arenas dressed quickly and came to visit Hughes in the Cavaliers’ newly remodeled locker room.
“Man,” Arenas said, admiring the state-of-the-art stereo equipment and TV screens in each player’s dressing stall. “Was this part of the salary cap?”
Arenas arrived so quickly after the game, Hughes asked his good friend if he had bothered showering.
“Yeah, I took one,” Arenas said. “Our meeting was quick.”
For complete game stats click HERE.