Gooden scored nine of Cleveland's final 15 points, including
seven in overtime, helping the Cavaliers extend their winning
streak to four games with a 100-98 victory over the Charlotte
Bobcats on Tuesday night.
"I was mad, upset," said Gooden, who finished with 17 points.
"I had a chip on my shoulder in the second half. We weren't
playing like us."
LeBron James scored 29 points and sparked Cleveland's rally from
a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit. Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 22
points as the Cavaliers improved to 14-3 at home before heading off
on a six-game road trip.
Gerald Wallace and Primoz Brezec each scored 18 points for
Charlotte, which has lost eight of nine. Former Cavaliers guard
Brevin Knight had 15 points and tied a career best with an NBA
season-high 20 assists for the Bobcats.
"It didn't get us a win," Knight said. "I'll take two assists
and a win over 20 assists and a loss any day."
Gooden hit the final basket of regulation to tie it at 87. He
then scored on a short jumper, a finger roll and converted a missed
shot by James into a layup to help Cleveland go ahead 95-91 with
1:31 left in overtime.
"I wanted to contribute, wanted to score," Gooden said. "I
felt like I could score down the stretch."
Gooden made one of two free throws with 7 seconds left to make
it 98-95. Ilgauskas sank two from the line with 5.4 to play.
Keith Bogans, who scored 17 points, hit a 3-pointer for
Charlotte to finish the scoring.
Each team missed shots in the final five seconds of regulation.
Jeff McInnis stripped the ball from Bogans, but misfired from the
corner. Knight got the rebound, hustled up court and fed Bogans,
who missed a 12-footer as the buzzer sounded.
"We should have been sitting on the bus with the win," said
Bogans. "The shot felt good, looked good, but was just a little
Coming off a 25-point rout of New York on Saturday, the
Cavaliers never quite matched the energy of the expansion Bobcats
until five minutes remained in regulation.
"I didn't think we played very smart," Cavs coach Paul Silas
said. "To lose a game like this would have been a disaster,
especially going out west."
James scored five points in a 32-second span to get Cleveland to
83-81 late in the fourth quarter.
"It's going to be intense. Kobe is going to bring his 'A' game
and so am I."
James turned up his game against Charlotte by hitting a
3-pointer with 3:54 left in the fourth. After Gooden blocked a shot
at the other end, James got the ball and drove through the Bobcats'
defense, spinning his way to the hoop and dropping in a left-handed
Knight hit two key baskets to help Charlotte maintain its slim
lead, and Wallace stuffed James' attempt inside with 42 seconds to
play. Cleveland got the ball back and James fed Gooden for a layup
that tied it at 87 with 33 seconds left.
Charlotte had taken command in the third quarter when Wallace
went up and over the Cleveland defense to convert three power slams
and score 10 points to help the Bobcats to a 74-64 lead.
Emeka Okafor, the second pick in the 2004 draft, had six points
and nine rebounds for Charlotte.
Cavs G Dajuan Wagner has been hospitalized since Sunday
with an intestinal disorder. "They've taken a lot of tests, but we
don't have the results," coach Paul Silas said. ... The Bobcats
activated G-F Bernard Robinson, who had missed 25 games with left
knee tendinitis, and put F Theron Smith on the injured list with
right knee tendinitis. ... Charlotte is 0-11 on the road against
Eastern Division teams and 1-15 overall. ... Former Cavaliers
player Jason Kapono scored all 11 of his points in the first half.