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The Cavaliers looked strong Wednesday night snapping a 2 game losing streak with an OT victory against the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 112-105.
Donyell Marshall made a key three-point play in regulation, then hit consecutive three-pointers in overtime while Zydrunas Ilgauskas chipped in 29 points before fouling out in overtime, and LeBron James added 28. Elton Brand scored 33 points and Sam Cassell added 26 for the Clippers.
Marshall tipped a missed 3-pointer by Larry Hughes with 47 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and tacked on a free throw to tie it at 95.
“I’m so frustrated with myself,” said Cassell, who let Marshall run uncontested to the hoop. “That was my assignment. I didn’t get there in time.”
Brand had a chance to win the game in regulation, as his driving jumper in the lane misfired and James grabbed the rebound as time ran out.
“I could have had us out of here,” Brand said. “It was the play we wanted. It felt good, but I missed it.”
James, coming off a season-high 38 points Saturday against Minnesota, shot only 7-for-20, hitting the side of the backboard with one baseline shot and uncharacteristically failing to finish a couple drives to the basket.
James found other ways to dominate. Playing nearly 50 minutes, he hit 14 free throws and added nine assists and seven rebounds.
“This was a real big win,” said James. “The Clippers are up and coming on the west coast and we are up and coming on the east coast. We’re very similar, but we got some defensive stops in overtime and that was it. Brand didn’t score in overtime. That was the key.”
Notes: Cavaliers F Drew Gooden had his streak of five consecutive double-doubles snapped. He had six points and eight rebounds in only 17 minutes, sitting most of the second half with a sore left ankle. “I’m not going to miss a game,” said Gooden. … World B. Free, credited with saving the Cavaliers’ franchise in the mid-80s, was honored by the team at halftime. “My biggest championship was taking a team from the cellar and taking it to the promised land (the playoffs) like we did,” said Free, who helped Cleveland go from a 2-19 start in 1984-85 to the postseason. … Both teams continued to hit free throws. Cleveland came in leading the NBA at 81 percent and made 40 of 47. The Clippers added to their 80-percent mark by converting 25 of 28. … The Clippers are just 15-37 all-time in Cleveland.