Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/18

Game 1: Thursday, November 18th
Cavaliers106Final
Bobcats89
Game 2: Saturday, November 20th
Bobcats84Final
Cavaliers100
Game 3: Monday, January 3rd
Cavaliers94Final
Bobcats83
Game 4: Tuesday, January 11th
Bobcats98Final
OT
Cavaliers100

Cavaliers 106

(5-3, 2-2 away)

Bobcats 89

(1-6, 1-4 home)

Coverage: FSOH

7:00 PM ET, November 18, 2004

Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

1 2 3 4 T
CLE 32 25 25 24106
CHA 25 24 15 2589

Top Performers

Cleveland: L. James 19 Pts, 6 Reb, 9 Ast

Charlotte: K. Bogans 14 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

LeBron the highlight reel in Cavs' 5th straight win

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- LeBron James is expected to wow crowds, not opponents.

James stunned the Bobcats with three explosive dunks, including a windmill that broke the game open late in the second quarter to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 106-89 victory Thursday night over Charlotte.

"What this game reminded me of was when Dr. J (Julius Erving) came into the league. He'd make a couple of plays and everyone would stand around and watch," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "It seemed to me everybody came to watch LeBron, and that was inclusive of us."

James had 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds while helping Cleveland win its fifth consecutive game to move two games over .500 for the first time since 1999 -- James' freshman year in high school.

"That's great for us, we're in a great position," James said. "We lost three straight and look at our record now, 5-3. It's better than 0-9 and it means we're doing something right."

The talk of the night was James' windmill dunk. He took a pass from Gooden on the baseline, drove toward the basket and went airborne over all his defenders.

"I told you I can fly," he said. "I can fly for about 1.6 seconds and then it's time to come back down."

The Bobcats lost their fifth straight, as well as their composure.

Gerald Wallace, who committed a flagrant foul against James at the start of the third quarter, was called for a second flagrant as he attempted to block Drew Gooden's shot with 8:35 to play in the third.

Bickerstaff, who has complained about the lack of respect the Bobcats receive from officials, stormed onto the court in protest.

He was immediately hit with a technical foul, and when Wallace lost his cool and the assistant coaches had to focus on him, Bickerstaff got loose under the basket to continue his rant. He, too, was ejected.

"The first one, I was defending the drive and he ran into me," Wallace said. "I don't know what the second one was for. I thought I was getting the block."

Bickerstaff said he believed the NBA would not suspend Wallace after reviewing the tape.

"That's what the guy does, he contests shots and he went clean for it," Bickerstaff said. "My disappointment is that people go in and throw it down and we're embarrassed on throw downs and dunks, so he contested it."

The Cavaliers led 64-51 before the ejections, and pounced on Charlotte after it.

Jeff McInnis scored 18 points for Cleveland, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 16 and Ira Newble scored 11.

Jason Kapono, a former Cavalier selected by Charlotte in the expansion draft, led the Bobcats with 16 points. Keith Bogans had 14 and Melvin Ely added 10.

The Bobcats came back from an early 14-point deficit and trailed by one with 1:49 to go before halftime. Then James, who has helped Cleveland rebound from an 0-3 start by averaging an NBA-best 28.6 points, took over.

He hit a 3-pointer, then after a steal by Gooden, converted his windmill dunk on a fast break. Slightly stunned, the Bobcats turned the ball over again and Newble scored on a fast-break layup for seven points in 33 seconds that put Cleveland up 57-49 at halftime.

Game notes


The Bobcats got a fan to eat live worms for $250 during a timeout in a cheap imitation of the TV show "Fear Factor." .... The crowd was 14,706, and James brought out a celebrity audience -- David Thompson and Panthers players Julius Peppers and Brentson Buckner all sat courtside, and a few other NFL players were sprinkled through the stands. ... Cleveland's Dajaun Wagner was activated Wednesday, but didn't play until late in the fourth quarter. He scored seven straight points on 3-for-4 shooting. .... Charlotte guard Jason Hart missed his third game with a sprained ankle and isn't expected back for at least another week.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CLE
CHA
Points 106 89
FGM-FGA 41-79 (.519) 33-82 (.402)
3PM-3PA 6-8 (.750) 1-6 (.167)
FTM-FTA 18-29 (.621) 22-34 (.647)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-41 16-39
Assists 29 22
Turnovers 14 14
Steals 7 10
Blocks 7 5
Fast Break Points 5 3
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (0/0) 20 (2/2)

Top Performers

Cleveland
Charlotte
LeBron James James
Points: 19
Reb: 6
Ast: 9
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Keith Bogans Bogans
Points: 14
Reb: 6
Ast: 4
Stl: 2
Blk: 1