Cavaliers Lost to Nets 96-91

Jefferson scored 28 points in another outstanding shooting performance, and the New Jersey Nets extended their winning streak to seven Tuesday night with a 96-91 victory over James and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Carter was limited to 30 minutes because of foul trouble, Jefferson was 9-of-11 from the field, a night after going 8-for-8 in the Nets’ 109-101 win at New York.

James had 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, but Cleveland had its six-game winning streak snapped.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 21 points, Larry Hughes had 16 and Eric Snow 10.

The Nets seemed on their way to an easy win until the Cavaliers, led by seven points from Ilgauskas, went on a 12-0 run to cut the Nets’ lead to 89-83.

“We didn’t want to get blown out or get embarrassed, being that it’s an Eastern Conference team,” James said. “We picked it up.”

New Jersey finally scored on a pair of free throws by Carter with 2:22 remaining, and he followed with a basket to give the Nets a 10-point lead.

James and Hughes made 3-pointers in the final minutes to trim the New Jersey lead to 93-89. Carter made one free throw with 21 seconds left and Snow made a layup before Kidd closed out the scoring with a pair of free throws.

The Nets overcame a slow start to take a 29-21 lead after one period. James scored Cleveland’s first seven points of the second as the Cavaliers cut the Nets’ lead to 33-28.

Kidd later added consecutive 3-pointers as New Jersey finished the quarter with a 14-4 run and an 80-62 lead.

“We can’t come back against a team like that being down 18 points,” Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. “That’s tough to do.”

Click HERE for full game recap and box score

Is LeBron James the Next Jordan or the Next Carter?

Is LeBron James the Next Jordan or the Next Carter?Harvey Araton of THE NEW YORK TIMES writes, “It has been tempting lately to call Vince Carter Half Man, Half Amazing, but that would be too passé, so Y2K. Besides, LeBron James landed at Continental Arena last night, on his way to the Hall of Fame, with his Cavaliers riding a Nets-matching six-game winning streak until they fell, 96-91, to a New Jersey team suddenly hitting nothing but net.

James, we were reminded, is what Carter was a half-dozen years ago, the ascendant monarch of Nike Nation, and more. He is the prodigy who makes the pass, and everyone better, while averaging a shade over 30 points a game. In his third season after turning pro out of high school, James has fulfilled expectations without appearing in a playoff game. It’s still early, though. There is plenty of time for the mythmakers to get cranky, deconstruct the legend, shot by shot.”

Bulls look in mirror for ways to end slump

Brian Hanley from the Chicago SunTimes.Com writes – The Bulls hope their soul-searching session Saturday — a players-only meeting and practice — will help them snap the three-game losing streak they bring into tonight’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“We can talk about it all we want, but until we do it, the problem is not going to be solved,” said guard Kirk Hinrich, one of the team’s tri-captains who helped run Saturday’s workout. “It’s our team, and we have to hold ourselves accountable and be ready to play every night. We just haven’t done that.”

The Bulls (12-14) took an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter of their last meeting with the Cavaliers on Thursday at the United Center. But Cleveland went on an 18-2 run in the first five minutes of the final quarter and cruised to a 108-100 victory.

For a complete review of the story CLICK HERE.

Varejao’s rehabilitation is ahead of schedule

Varejao is scheduled to rejoin full practice right after the new year and could be available for games shortly after that if he has no setbacks. The Cavs are planning to proceed cautiously to make sure he has enough strength in the shoulder to handle being in a game according to Brian Windhorst

The 6-foot-10 Varejao, who suffered the injury while playing for the Brazilian national team in August, has been ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation for weeks and has been involved in practices for about a month.

Cavs Top Pacers

LeBron James collected 14 points on just 4-of-16 shooting, but had eight rebounds and nine assists to lift the Cleveland Cavaliers to a hard-fought 94-89 victory over the Indiana Pacers.LeBron James dunks against the Indians Pacers during the third quarter of the Cavaliers’ 94-89 NBA basketball win Friday, Dec. 23, 2005, in Cleveland.

“I missed shots,” said James, who was just 4-of-16 from the field. “I was getting my teammates into the game. I’m going to have an off night, but it doesn’t matter because we won the ballgame.”

Despite his poor shooting, James made several key plays down the stretch. With the game tied, 86-86, James drove the lane and warded off a defender before converting an acrobatic layup to give Cleveland the lead for good with 56 seconds left.

Indiana turned the ball over on the ensuing possession when Eric Snow drew an offensive foul on Jamaal Tinsley.

“LeBron did what he is supposed to do – he took over – and Eric Snow made a big stop,” Marshall said.

“A lot of guys stepped up individually,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. “I bet you there’s no one in this building who thinks we win when (James is) 4-of-16 against the Pacers.”

James again attacked the basket on Cleveland’s next possession, but Indiana brought multiple defenders. With time winding down on the shot clock, James dished into the right corner for Larry Hughes, who dribbled to the free-throw line before drilling a fadeaway jumper to push Cleveland’s lead to 90-86.

“It was one of the biggest games of the year for us thus far,” James said. “We were able to dig down and get the win.”

Drew Gooden collected a season-best 21 points and 12 rebounds, Hughes scored 18 points and Marshall added 17 off the bench for the Cavs, who shot 46 percent (6-of-13) from the arc and went to the free-throw line 37 times.

Click HERE for full game recap

Cavs Beat Bulls

The Bulls had not looked this good since they beat San Antonio a month ago. They put together an astounding third quarter Thursday against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then they fell apart, succumbing, 108-100, at the United Center and falling to 5-7 at home. “We can’t play well at home at all,” the Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich had said a day earlier. “That’s pretty senseless.” James had his typical outstanding game with 37 points, but the Cavaliers’ Damon Jones hit the Bulls hardest with three straight three-pointers in the Cavs’ 18-2 run to open the fourth quarter. Jones sank four of them in the fourth and five in the game for 15 points. The Cavs’ early second-half turnovers helped the Bulls turn a 57-53 halftime deficit into a six-point lead 4 1/2 minutes into the third quarter. The Cavaliers didn’t have a field goal for the first 5:50 in the third.
Gordon kept the game close for the Bulls in the first half by scoring 18 points, and he finished with 22. CLICK HERE for complete Box Scores.

Cavs’ Larry Hughes Misses Practice

Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes left the team on Wednesday to attend to a family matter and is questionable for the club’s game on Thursday night in Chicago. Hughes did not practice and did not accompany the Cavaliers on their trip.

Cavs coach Mike Brown said he didn’t know if Hughes, who is in his first season with Cleveland, would be back in time to play against the Bulls. Hughes scored eight points in Cleveland’s 110-85 win over Utah on Tuesday. He also drew his first technical foul after complaining about a traveling call. The 6-foot-6 Hughes signed a five-year, $60 million free agent contract with the Cavaliers in August after spending three seasons with the Washington Wizards. He’s averaging 16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.