YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


James Takes Over for Win

January 30, 2006|From the Associated Press

In six shining seconds, LeBron James blocked a shot at one end and then dunked one at the other to leave an indelible impression.

"It was unbelievable," said Phoenix Sun guard Leandro Barbosa.

James scored 32 of his 44 points in the second half, and brought Cleveland back almost by himself as the Cavaliers rallied for their fifth straight victory, 113-106 over the Suns on Sunday at Cleveland.

James had 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who trailed by 17 midway through the third quarter before he took control.

And, in a stirring six-second sequence of the fourth, James made one of the best plays of this NBA season -- or any other.

First, he hustled back on defense and blocked a layup by the speedy Barbosa, whose shot would have tied the score. Then, James quickly retrieved the ball, sped down the floor, eluded Boris Diaw with a head fake and delivered a dunk that gave the Cavaliers a 97-93 lead.

"I was like, 'Holy moley!' " Cavalier Coach Mike Brown said. "That was one of the most athletic plays I've ever seen."

The Suns were stunned.

"He made a million highlights in a very short time," said Steve Nash, who led Phoenix with 24 points.

James scored 16 points in the third and scored another 16 in the fourth when Cleveland's defense finally slowed the Suns, holding the NBA's highest-scoring team to 19 points on six-for-20 shooting.

During Cleveland's winning streak, James is averaging 37.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.6 assists, and his 44-point, 11-rebound, seven-assist effort has been matched only by Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Hakeem Olajuwon since 1991-92.

But it was his game-changing block of Barbosa that stood out.

"That play was very key," James said. "I just wanted to make a play to try and take the life out of them a little bit."

Miami 101, Houston 95 -- Dwyane Wade had 32 points and nine assists to lead the Heat at Houston.

Miami led, 78-61, after three quarters, but Houston rallied to within 93-87 in the final minutes but could get no closer.

Shaquille O'Neal had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat. Tracy McGrady had 37 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Rockets, who dropped to 4-15 at home.

Toronto 124, Sacramento 123 -- Jalen Rose's jump shot with 0.4 of a second left in overtime at Toronto ended the Raptors' four-game losing streak.

Mike Bibby had 42 points for Sacramento, including a 19-foot jump shot that had given Sacramento a 123-122 lead with 11.2 seconds left in overtime. Ron Artest scored 24 points for the Kings, including a layup that sent the game into overtime. Morris Peterson led Toronto with 23 points.

Philadelphia 89, Orlando 81 -- Chris Webber scored 18 points at Orlando, Fla., to help the 76ers win without Allen Iverson, sidelined for the second straight game by a sprained left ankle.

Steve Francis had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Magic.

Milwaukee 83, Boston 79 -- Michael Redd, who had six points through three quarters, had 15 in the fourth to help the host Bucks improve to 9-0 against the Atlantic Division. Wally Szczerbiak scored 20 for Boston.

Los Angeles Times Articles