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 West returns to lineup, leads Cavs past Pistons

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PostSubject: West returns to lineup, leads Cavs past Pistons   Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:33 pm

CLEVELAND(AP) It's not often someone other
than LeBron James gets top billing in a victory by the Cleveland
Cavaliers. Delonte West provided a rare exception Sunday night.West
scored 25 points in his first game since mid-January and led the
Cavaliers to a 99-78 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.West,
sidelined since Jan. 15 with a fractured right wrist, was 8-of-11 from
the field and made all five of his 3-point attempts. He scored 13
points in the first quarter when the Cavaliers put the game away
against the sluggish Pistons, who have lost six straight for the first
time since February 2004, and fell to 27-27."Was Delonte
injured?'' joked James, who had 20 points in 31 minutes after scoring
55 Friday night against Milwaukee. "Wow. He played like he was never
out. It was great to have him back out there.''West showed no rustiness from his 16-game layoff."Once your adrenaline gets going, you don't feel an injury,'' West said. "I was happy with the way I played.''It didn't take long for West to regain trust in his shot."Making shots always gives you confidence,'' West said. "It's always good for a shooter to see that ball go through the nets.''The
Cavaliers, who has the NBA's best home record at 25-1, lead the reeling
Pistons by 16 games in the Central Division. Detroit, which has lost 15
of 20, began a five-game trip, which also features stops in Miami, New
Orleans, Orlando and Boston."We stunk the gym out,'' said Allen Iverson, who led the Pistons with 14 points. "We acted like strangers out there tonight.''The
Cavaliers, who trailed only at 2-0, had three big runs in the first
half, the first two coming less than 15 minutes in. Leading 9-8 early
in the first quarter, Cleveland went on a 15-0 run, sparked by two
3-pointers by West and five points by James, pushing the lead to 16.The
Cavaliers added a 12-0 spurt early in the second quarter, building the
lead to 43-19. That burst featured two 3-pointers from Mo Williams and
six points by Zydrunas Ilgauskas. A 13-0 run later in the period,
sparked by seven points by James and five by West, including another
3-pointer, pushed the lead to 63-29 with 1:46 left before halftime.While the Cavaliers were 12-4 without West, his presence was missed on both ends of the floor."He's a multitalened player who can do a lot of things,'' James said. "We missed having him.''Cleveland built the lead to 36 in the third quarter."I
thought our guys did a nice job defensively at the beginning of the
game,'' Cleveland coach Mike Brown. "We did a nice job contesting
shots.''Detroit coach Michael Curry is looking for answers to turn his team around."This
was disappointing,'' he said. "We talked about having trust out on the
court - helping each other offensively and defensively.''James,
who was able to sit out the fourth quarter, added nine assists and five
rebounds. He also recorded a resounding block of Iverson's layup
attempt in the third quarter.Ilgauskas added 16 for Cleveland, while Wally Szczerbiak scored 15. Walter Herrmann scored 13 for Detroit.Notes:
Detroit G Rodney Stuckey, who totaled five points in the previous two
games, scored 10. ... Pistons F Jason Maxiell was given a technical
foul in the second quarter. ... The Cavaliers committed three turnovers
through the first three quarters and finished with six for the game,
tying a season low . ... Sunday night marked Brown's 300th games as
Cavaliers coach. ... Cavaliers radio play-by-play announcer Joe Tait
missed the game because of kidney stones.

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