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 James and Williams lead Cavs over Blazers 104-98

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PostSubject: James and Williams lead Cavs over Blazers 104-98   Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:22 pm

PORTLAND, Ore.(AP) The road was a bit smoother for the Cleveland Cavaliers in Portland.After
losing four of their past five road games, the Cavaliers held off the
Trail Blazers 104-98 on Wednesday night at the Rose Garden.LeBron
James had 34 points and 14 assists, while Mo Williams added a
season-high 33 points, including a career-high six 3-pointers.
Cleveland made 11 of 19 3-point attempts in shooting 52.6 percent
(41-of-78) from the field.Coming off a loss at the Lakers, James said the Cavaliers have become adept at recouping."One
thing I'm very excited about is the way we bounce back after a loss. We
never let one game hang over our heads where we lose two or three. We
always bounce back,'' James said. "We hate to lose.''Brandon Roy had 23 points for Portland. LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 and reserve center Joel Przybilla had 15 rebounds.Cleveland,
which led by 11 points in the first half, took a 68-59 lead when James
hit two consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter.But Portland
went ahead 82-81 midway through the fourth quarter on Roy's layup and
free throw. Ben Wallace got the lead back for the Cavaliers with a
put-back, and James hit a 3-pointer.The Blazers stayed close, pulling within 92-88 on Greg Oden's pair of free throws.But
James hit another 3-pointer, and after Roy hit two foul shots but
missed a key layup, Williams added another 3 to put Cleveland ahead
98-90 with 48.9 seconds left.While the Cavaliers remain the
league's only unbeaten team at home, the road has not been so kind. The
latest loss came Monday at the Lakers, 105-88."Every guy on this
team knows we're fighting for a championship. We gotta go out there
every night and approach it that way,'' James said. "We can't afford to
take a night off. We want to get better every night because we're
fighting for something really big down the road.''Oden had 10
points and eight rebounds, short of the success he had Monday in
Portland's 102-85 victory over Milwaukee when he had a season-high 24
points and 15 rebounds.Oden got into foul trouble, collecting five by early in the fourth quarter.The
Cavaliers continued to play without starting center Zydrunas Ilgauskas,
who was still nursing a sore left ankle but was expected back in about
a week. The Cavaliers played 6-foot-11 Anderson Varejao at center.The
Blazers were without starting point guard Steve Blake, who injured his
right shoulder last week. Sergio Rodriguez has started the past four
games in his place."We just waited too long to get going. Maybe
we were in awe of LeBron. I'm not sure what it was,'' Przybilla said.
"We need to believe we're one of the best teams in the league and we
can play with anybody.''Wally Szczerbiak hit a 3-pointer late in
the first quarter to put the Cavaliers up 28-23, but Nicolas Batum hit
a jumper at the end of the period to narrow it to 28-25.Rudy Fernandez's 3-pointer tied it, and the Blazers went ahead on Travis Outlaw's short jumper.Portland's lead didn't last long, and Cleveland pulled back ahead 35-34 on Varejao's layup midway though the quarter.The Cavaliers went on a 15-6 run to take a 53-42 lead before Outlaw wrapped up the half with a 3-pointer.Williams
had 18 points for Cleveland in the first half. James, who had 12 points
in the first half, added 14 in the third quarter, including his two key
3-pointers."When you're opposing players like LeBron James and
Mo Williams, especially at their best, you've got to be more
aggressive,'' Portland coach Nate McMillan said.

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