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Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron speeds his way to 51

By admin Published: January 15, 2008

Cavs 132, Grizzlies 125, OT --Can't believe the Grizzlies decided to let Mike Miller basically play LeBron James alone on a island for much of the night. Sometimes they double teamed but most of the time they left those two alone. Thus, LeBron puts in 51. You won't see that again for awhile unless it's Bruce Bowen. Miller was just disheartened by the end and the late doubles Memphis did bring only meant fouls and easy passes to open teammates. Meanwhile Marc Iavaroni says: "I thought our defense improved." --LeBron had 28 shots tonight to get 51 points. That is just sick. I went over the case for why LeBron is having a career year in the paper yesterday. There's some crazy stuff in there. Anyway, the guy is averaging 30 points a game and he's yet to have a 30-shot game. Kobe took 44 shots last night. Just think about that for a second. --Now consider this: In the fourth quarter the Cavs had total 10 baskets and four free throws. James had six of the baskets, three assists and three free throws. In overtime, the Cavs had four baskets, LeBron had two of them and one assist. Also, don't forget the steal he made with 39 seconds left in regulation with the game tied. I don't know if he can win the Most Valuable Player Award but I am going to keep pointing stuff like this out. --Cavs have 12 fourth quarter come-from-behind wins. Grizzlies are 1-9 in games decided by five points or less. It can be summed up on one play: one second on the shot clock with the ball under the basket and LeBron gets a layup late in the fourth quarter. --The bench had 45 points on 15-of-28 shooting. LeBron sets most of them up, indeed, but Daniel Gibson, Anderson Varejao, Devin Brown and Damon Jones are combining to play high-quality ball. Over the last 10 games they are averaging almost 35 points a game. --Funny moment in the third quarter. Zydrunas Ilgauskas got fouled and made the shot, which the officials waved off but still gave Z two shots. Which didn't make sense. Mike Brown calls LeBron over and LeBron tells him: "They say he doesn't get the basket because he traveled but they are still giving him the two shots. I've never heard that rule before in my life, but we're going to roll with it, coach." --This was not the type of game the Cavs like, giving up 53 percent shooting and 29 fastbreak points and 15 3-pointers. It was played at the Grizzlies pace. --In addition, I felt there was some really bad execution in the late fourth quarter. First off, ahead by 3, how you do you let Juan Carlos Navarro get any separation. Mike Brown doesn't believe in fouling in that spot, but I say if there's a pick coming to free him, tackle him. Second, with Miller just staring at him and 10 seconds left LeBron waits too long and is forced to take a crazy 3. He's still got to work on that one.
Tonight's recap:
Pregame
Starting lineups
Cavs: Larry Hughes, Sasha Pavlovic, LeBron James, Drew Gooden, Zydrunas Ilgauskas Grizz: Mike Conley, Mike Miller, Rudy Gay, Pau Gasol, Darko Millcic
--The Grizzlies are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, giving up 105 points a game and 47 percent shooting. The Cavs haven't broken 100 points without the help of overtime in 13 games. We'll see which streak prevails. --Grizz PGs Conley and Kyle Lowry are both weak shooters, but they get into the lane very well. Could be a problem for Damon Jones or Daniel Gibson tonight. By the way, some here in Memphis say they have their worst shooting guards in the league. Ha, we'll see about that. --Rudy Gay and Mike Miller both have issues handling the ball and the Cavs have been pretty active in stripping of late. We'll see if that becomes a factor. --LeBron has had some really big games here in the past. It is a great building but usually not a tough place to play for the visiting team. Last year he had one of those games where he got hot from the outside and scored like 20 points in seven minutes.
Halftime -- Cavs 56, Grizzlies 53 --Cavs have outplayed the Grizzlies for the most part, killing them on the boards but Memphis has stayed in the game with 3-pointers. They are 7-of-10 on them, which is why they are shooting 55 percent overall. Perhaps Mike Brown will instruct his players to stay attached to Juan Carlos Navarro in the second half? --Anderson Varejao hit a few jumpers in the first half. The release and rotation are ugly but he's been hitting them consistently since coming to the team. A development in his game. Bench is playing very well again, Boobie has 10 and Devin Brown has made some nice plays. --I believe LeBron can get to the basket on the Grizzlies any time they don't bring the double team, especially when they have Gasol and Milicic on the back line. Let's see if he goes to that in the second half. He hit some 3s early, which might cause him to get into a bad habit. --Drew Gooden has nine points and nine rebounds. Jerry West is gone, but he's still trying to prove him point I guess.
Postgame
Stars LeBron, 51 points, eight rebounds, nine assists, three steals Daniel Gibson, 18 points Rudy Gay, 30 points, nine rebounds Juan Carlos Navarro, 26 points Michael Conley, 20 points
Quotes LeBron: "They weren't as aggressive as I thought they'd be. If that happens and I get the opportunity to play one-on-one there may be a few more games like this." Mike Brown: "When LeBron gets in a rhythm he makes great decisions for us." Marc Iavaroni: "I think LeBron's got more passing ability than Magic because he can put it on a dime with zip."

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