<
>

Pierce scores 19, James 10

BOSTON (AP) -- LeBron James might be the most crowd-pleasing
rookie ever.

He goes into opponents' buildings, sells them out, and loses.

James remained winless on the road as a pro after Paul Pierce
scored 19 points to help the Boston Celtics beat the Cavaliers
91-82 Friday night. It was Cleveland's sixth loss in as many road
games this year -- five of them sellouts -- and its 27th in a row
overall.

"It's not wearing on me yet. It's a long season," said James,
the high school phenom who was the first overall pick in the NBA
draft. "I don't like it, of course. I'm a winner. But it can't
start wearing on me this soon."

Vin Baker had 13 points with 11 rebounds for Boston, which had
its second sellout of the season, its first since opening night.
The 17,624 will be able to say they saw James' Boston debut, but
they won't have much else to say about it.

James scored just 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting in his first
regular-season game at the home of the NBA's most successful
franchise. He hit a 3-pointer early in the fourth period to cut
Boston's lead to eight points, but he missed two jumpers -- one of
them wide open -- late in the quarter as the Cavs fought to trim the
Celtics' double-digit lead.

"He brings a sold-out crowd, like Jordan did his last year,"
Pierce said. "He's going to pretty much sell out every arena. It's
good for the NBA, it's a fresh face."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 22 points on 7-for-9 shooting -- the only
Cavaliers player to shoot better than 50 percent as Cleveland made
just 27 of 77 shots from the floor (35 percent).

Carlos Boozer had eight points and 11 rebounds. Chris Mihm had
10 points and nine rebounds, scoring on a fourth-chance tip-in
midway through the fourth quarter to cut Boston's lead to 79-74.

It was 81-76 after James drew a double-team and dished it to
DeSagana Diop for a jumper. But Pierce made four straight free
throws, Eric Williams made one and then James missed an open bank
shot from 10 feet and Pierce hit a 3-pointer to make it 89-76 with
2:54 left. James missed another jumper the next time down.

"We just couldn't get over the hump," Cavs coach Paul Silas
said. "We have to have a go-to guy that's going to get us a hoop
at that particular time. That's what we're searching for."

James picked up fouls on consecutive possessions and sat out the
last 8:32 of the third quarter. Jumaine Jones drew a charge when
James drove to the basket, then James fouled Jones at the other end
for his third foul of the game.

The Celtics led by as much as 56-43 early in the third quarter
before the Cavs scored six consecutive points to kickstart an 11-2
run that cut the lead to four points. Boston led 64-59 before
Williams hit two free throws and Marcus Banks hit a 3-pointer to
make it a 10-point game with 3:04 left in the quarter.

Game notes
Jones was a late addition to the Boston starting lineup in
place of Kedrick Brown. ... Silas played four seasons with the
Celtics from 1973-76, winning two NBA titles. ... The Celtics
placed C Raef LaFrentz on the injured list Friday with right knee
tendinitis. He could return on Nov. 26. The Celtics also activated
rookie center Kendrick Perkins from the injured list. He's been out
with tendinitis in both knees.