Left with no other option, Marshall lobbed a pass skyward and
hoped James could somehow soar high enough to get it. And as is
usually the case, James did much more than that.
He caught it, cuffed it and rammed it through the hoop.
"That's why they call him 'The King,' I guess," Marshall said.
"It was a bad pass, but he made it look real good."
James scored 31 points, Larry Hughes added 13 and the Cleveland
Cavaliers made a team-record 28 straight free throws before their
first miss, rolling to a 112-85 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on
Making 19 of 19 free throws in the first 24 minutes, the
Cavaliers built a 22-point halftime lead over the Sonics, who got
blown out for the second game in a row. On Tuesday, Seattle was
beaten 94-69 at Memphis.
James, averaging 29 points per game, spent the final 8:49 on the
bench after his monstrous dunk put the Cavs ahead by 28. He
finished 11-of-11 from the line, and the Cavs went 31-of-33 on free
They were a perfect 28-of-28 when Alan Henderson missed the
first of two with 8:16 left. Cleveland's previous record for
consecutive free throws was 22 on Dec. 17, 1987, at Chicago.
"We'll get him (Henderson) for that at practice," Hughes
joked. "He'll pay."
Marshall added 13 points and nine rebounds, and Drew Gooden had
11 points and nine boards for the Cavs, who outrebounded the Sonics
56-21 and held them to just 12 rebounds on the defensive end.
"It didn't seem like we had the fight," Sonics coach Bob
Weiss. "I think a lot of it was hustle plays. They had a lot more
juice than we did."
"I still had to try to ignite the guys," Allen said. "Just
because Rashard went out doesn't mean we all have to lay down. I
will say this, anybody who thinks they can do what Rashard Lewis
does is fooling themselves. Still, that's no reason for us to be
back on our heels."
James capped his 35 minutes on the floor with a breathtaking
one-handed dunk that gave Cleveland a 99-71 lead.
Taking off on a 2-on-1 fast break, James passed the ball ahead
to Marshall, who waited for James before lobbing him a pass in the
lane. Twisting in the air, James grabbed the ball with his right
hand and slammed it in as Sonics guard Luke Ridnour took cover.
James' dunk was strikingly similar looking to the dunk in his
rookie season that has been immortalized on a 110-foot-high
billboard outside Quicken Loans Arena. The giant photo image was
unveiled on Wednesday.
"I don't know where he took off from," Marshall said. "I'm
just glad that he caught it."
Lewis didn't return after getting hurt. He was falling back on
defense in the foul lane trying to stop a driving James when he
banged into 285-pound Sonics center Vitaly Potapenko.
Lewis immediately grabbed his arm and sat for a moment on the
scorer's table before being helped to the locker room. He was
examined by Cavaliers doctors and could be back sooner than
"When it happened, I'm thinking, 'Oh boy, there's a month or
two," Weiss said. "Right now, he's not thinking it's long
Lewis was replaced by Vladimir Radmanovic, who following Tuesday
night's loss at Memphis complained to reporters that Weiss wasn't
playing him enough. The 6-foot-10 forward blamed the lack of
minutes -- he came in averaging 16.5 -- for his 6.7-point scoring
average. Last year, Radmanovic averaged 29.5 minutes.
Not only did Radmanovic get his wish, but he also drew the
assignment of guarding James, who scored 21 points in the first
"I don't think I said anything bad about Bob," said
Radmanovic, who finished with 12 points -- all on 3-pointers in the
second half. "I'm still here and trying to do my best. This is not
the time to talk about minutes."
The 27-point margin of victory was Cleveland's largest in
87 games against Seattle. ... The plus-35 rebounding margin was the
largest in Cavs' history, breaking the previous record of 32
against Milwaukee on Jan. 24, 1976. ... The NBA record for free
throws without a miss is 39 by Utah on Dec. 7, 1982. ... Along with
the photo of James soaring in mid-flight readying himself for a
vicious slam dunk, the billboard includes the words: "WE ARE ALL
WITNESSES." ... The Cavaliers play six of their next nine at home.