Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Tuesday, November 9th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 28th
Game 3: Wednesday, January 5th
Game 4: Wednesday, February 16th

Cavaliers 111

(17-11, 6-9 away)

Hawks 102

(5-22, 3-12 home)

Coverage: FSS

7:30 PM ET, December 28, 2004

Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

1 2 3 4 T
CLE 26 24 29 32111
ATL 32 19 24 27102

Top Performers

Cle: L. James 40 Pts, 9 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

Atl: A. Harrington 31 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

Cavaliers collect fifth straight win

ATLANTA (AP) -- LeBron James was tired of losing on the road, so the 19-year-old superstar gave the Cleveland Cavaliers exactly what they needed -- everything.

"Whatever we needed, he provided tonight," coach Paul Silas said. "He fuels us. As LeBron goes, so we go. He just wouldn't let us lose."

James had 40 points, nine rebounds and seven assists to help the Cavaliers defeat the Atlanta Hawks 111-102 Tuesday night for their third victory in four games.

Jeff McInnis and Zydrunas Ilgauskas each scored 20 points for Cleveland, which won its fifth straight against the struggling Hawks. The Cavs ended a two-game road losing streak and improved to 6-9 away from Gund Arena.

"There's not too many teams that play well on the road anyway," James said. "We've just got to come in with intensity like this every time we're on the road. It's simple as that."

James, who entered with a 24.6 average ranked fifth in the NBA, finished three points shy of his career high set Nov. 24 against Detroit. He went over 30 points for the seventh time this season.

Running down the left side and taking McInnis' fast-break pass, James fed Anderson Varejao with a bounce pass for a dunk that gave the Cavs their biggest lead, 94-82, with 5:38 left. That basket ended a 15-4 run that began after Tony Delk hit consecutive 3-pointers for Atlanta.

"LeBron, that's what he's good at," McInnis said. "We all play behind LeBron. Like in the fourth quarter, LeBron told me to get going. I got on the pick-and-roll and got some baskets. He got Tractor Traylor into the game. We've got guys that can hurt you."

James' most spectacular basket came on a fast-break dunk in the second quarter. He cradled the ball in his right arm before using his right hand to jam it through the rim and cut the Hawks' lead to 41-38.

Antoine Walker hit a 3-pointer to make it 106-100 with 57.3 seconds remaining, but it was too late as the Hawks lost for the seventh time in eight games.

"We have to learn how to play for 48 minutes," Walker, who finished with 17 points. "We have to be able to maintain our defense in the third quarter. We're not putting it together for 48 minutes."

Al Harrington led Atlanta with a season-high 31 points. Hawks coach Mike Woodson liked what he saw from Harrington.

"He was steady," Woodson said. "I thought the team played well, but again I'm not looking at offense. I'm looking at defense. We didn't do enough of that."

James, who turns 20 on Thursday, is the youngest player to reach 500 career assists and rebounds. He surpassed Philadelphia's Allen Iverson, who had 36 against the Hawks on Dec. 6, for the most points this season by an Atlanta opponent.

Ilgauskas was pleased with how the Cavs turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 79-75 lead entering the fourth. Cleveland entered with a 2-7 road record when trailing after three.

"In the last couple of weeks the third quarter has been a killer for us," Ilgauskas said. "We just come out flat and just shoot ourselves out of the game right out of the gates. Today that was the difference. We came out strong and took the lead."

Game notes

Hawks C Jason Collier started but played just two first-half minutes and 14 overall after colliding with Shaquille O'Neal the previous night and re-injuring his jaw. Woodson expects Collier to visit a dentist in the next couple of days. ... Atlanta scored a season-high 51 points in the first half. ... The Cavs took 16 first-half free throws, making 14, while Atlanta was just 1-for-1. ... Cleveland improved to 16-8 with G Ira Newble, a former Hawk, starting. ... Atlanta reported a crowd of 19,445, the second sellout of the season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 111 102
FGM-FGA 38-80 (.475) 41-78 (.526)
3PM-3PA 5-9 (.556) 4-12 (.333)
FTM-FTA 30-34 (.882) 16-23 (.696)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-38 9-34
Assists 19 20
Turnovers 14 18
Steals 10 10
Blocks 4 7
Fast Break Points 20 12
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 25 (2/0)
Largest Lead 12 7

Top Performers

LeBron James James
Points: 40
Reb: 9
Ast: 7
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Al Harrington Harrington
Points: 31
Reb: 6
Ast: 4
Stl: 2
Blk: 0