Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Saturday, November 13th
Game 2: Monday, January 24th
Game 3: Friday, April 15th

Cavaliers 111

(40-39, 12-27 away)

Wizards 119

(44-35, 28-12 home)

    8:00 PM ET, April 15, 2005

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 23 28 32 28111
    WSH 30 26 29 34119

    Top Performers

    Cle: L. James 38 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    WSH: G. Arenas 33 Pts, 4 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Blk

    LeBron's 38 offset by Wizards' Big 3

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- LeBron James found himself in a game of one-on-three -- not very good odds for a team in the midst of a precipitous plunge.

    James' one-man show was no match for the one-two-three punch of Gilbert Arenas, Larry Hughes and Antawn Jamison, and the result was a 119-111 victory Friday night for the Washington Wizards, further imperiling the Cleveland Cavaliers' postseason hopes.

    "It's hard to stop three guys who can get you 20 points every night," James said. "I'm not disappointed. I'll just keep my head high and just keep playing the basketball I've been playing."

    Arenas made 12 of 16 shots, scored 33 points and had nine assists, Hughes scored 16 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and had five steals, and Jamison had 21 points as the Wizards shot 59 percent and won their third straight in their bid for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

    The victory, coupled with Indiana's 90-86 loss to Philadelphia, moved the Wizards into position for the No. 5 seed and kept them one game behind No. 4 Chicago, which beat Orlando 117-77.

    James played all 48 minutes and scored 38 points for the Cavaliers, who are clinging to the East's eighth and final playoff position. Cleveland lost for the fifth time in seven games, fell one game behind Philadelphia and had its lead over ninth-place New Jersey cut to one game with three to play. The Nets beat Toronto 101-90.

    Grasping for a straw of optimism, James said the Cavaliers' situation was "good" because "New Jersey and Philly are playing each other on Sunday."

    "But we have to play basketball," James added. "I'm going to say the same thing I've always said every time this happens: We just have to play good basketball and try to win ballgames."

    James made 16 of 33 shots and had six rebounds and six assists, but Robert Traylor was a distant second in the Cleveland box score with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Drew Gooden -- who played much of the game with a hip injury -- scored 13 points on 4-for-16 shooting. The Cavaliers have lost 15 of 17 on the road.

    "He definitely needs some help," Hughes said of James. "You can't go compete as one against three guys. Tonight he had to compete one against three. He had 40, but we had 80, so, you know, he can't win."

    Cleveland's only lead in the game was 2-0, although the Cavaliers tied the game late in the third quarter before wilting when the Wizards opened the fourth with a 17-9 run. Hughes was the catalyst, scoring a fast-break three-point play after a steal and a 3-pointer in the spurt that put Washington ahead 102-92 with 5:29 to play. Juan Dixon added eight of his 11 points in the fourth.

    The game was marred by four technical fouls, and the Wizards played the final period coached by assistant Mike O'Koren after head coach Eddie Jordan had a run-in with an old neighborhood acquaintance.

    Jordan was given two technicals and an automatic ejection by official Luis Grillo with 2:14 to play in the third quarter after walking far onto the court to argue a series of calls and no-calls. Grillo lived up the street from Jordan during their childhoods, and they attended the same Washington, D.C., high school.

    "He showed who was boss," Jordan said. "He was the class of '66. I'm '73. He ran track; I played football, so that tells you."

    Even so, Jordan felt he had a legitimate beef.

    "I thought LeBron was getting a lot of touch fouls getting to the basket," Jordan said. "If they were fouls, then Gilbert deserved to get some fouls going to the basket as well -- and Larry and Antawn. I didn't see that happening, so I let it be known."

    Fans chanted "Ed-die!" as the Wizards turned up the intensity on behalf of their departed coach.

    "He was fighting for us," Arenas said, "so we had to fight for him and come out with a lot more energy."

    Game notes

    The victory gave Washington a 2-1 victory in the season series, which serves as the first tiebreaker if the teams finish with the same record. ... Washington's Kwame Brown got a technical in the first quarter, and Cleveland's Sasha Pavlovic received one in the second. ... Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas fouled out with 6:47 to play. ... Gooden hurt his hip in the second quarter but continued to play. He's not expected to miss a game. ... With the game taking place on April 15, the Wizards allowed postal service employees to set up locations throughout the MCI Center concourse. All tax return envelopes turned in by fans were marked "received by April 15, 2005." ... The Wizards were on national television for the second time this week, after making just one prior appearance all season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 111 119
    FGM-FGA 42-94 (.447) 46-78 (.590)
    3PM-3PA 2-14 (.143) 5-13 (.385)
    FTM-FTA 25-34 (.735) 22-29 (.759)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 20-40 10-40
    Assists 25 16
    Turnovers 8 12
    Steals 5 6
    Blocks 2 5
    Fast Break Points 6 19
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (2/0) 24 (3/0)
    Largest Lead 2 10

    Top Performers

    LeBron James James
    Points: 38
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Gilbert Arenas Arenas
    Points: 33
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1