CLEVELAND (AP) -- Zydrunas Ilgauskas' two big defensive plays
probably didn't impress 100 million Chinese watching on TV. LeBron
James, though, was blown away.
Ilgauskas, Cleveland's slow-footed 7-foot-3 center, scored 14
points, added 12 rebounds and drew two offensive fouls as the
Cavaliers clamped down defensively on Memphis in an 89-70 rout
"I can't remember the last time he took two charges in an
entire season," James, who added 16 points, said of the lengthy
The game was telecast live in China, where James visited last
summer and where his new sneaker line will be launched. The
overseas audience and Cleveland's swelling fan base weren't treated
to any high-flying slam dunks by James, but the Cavaliers did
provide a lesson in team play.
"We shut them down defensively," James said. "It was all
about defense, that transferred to turnovers. We got out on the
break and we've got good shooters."
The Cavs, improving each time out under first-year coach Mike
Brown, contested every shot, outhustled the Grizzlies to every
loose ball and dominated the boards, outrebounding Memphis 49-29
while holding it to a season low in points.
Cleveland's swarming defense limited Memphis to just 12 points
on 3-of-14 shooting in the third quarter when the Grizzlies went
9:03 between field goals, allowing the Cavs to open a 27-point
"This one was all about Cleveland," Grizzlies coach Mike
Fratello said. "They played very unselfish. They shared the ball
and played defense."
The Grizzlies came in averaging 95 points on 47.3 percent
shooting -- the NBA's fourth-best mark -- but were held to 36 percent
shooting and made only nine free throws.
Ilgauskas, whose career has been slowed by foot injuries, has
been working hard on his defense.
"It's been a long way to go because of my injuries, but I feel
like I'm helping the team more in the paint," he said.
James had six rebounds and two assists in 26 foul-plagued
minutes for Cleveland. He needs 10 points to become the youngest
player in NBA history to reach 4,000 career points. James (20
years, 316 days) will likely hit the mark and pass Kobe Bryant (21
years, 216 days) when the Cavaliers play at Orlando on Sunday.
Brown credited James with staying mentally sharp despite the
"He stayed into the game," Brown said. "He was in the huddle
talking to the young guys and told them to get stops."
Eddie Jones scored 15 points and Pau Gasol 13, but only three
after halftime as the Cavs shut down Memphis' leading scorer.
After the Grizzlies pulled within 11 in the third, the Cavs
reeled off 13 straight points to put it away, coasting to their
third straight blowout win at home. Cleveland's three home
victories have been by an average of 23 points.
Ilgauskas scored eight points in a row, but James provided the
most memorable basket during the spurt.
He missed a 3-pointer from up top but grabbed the long rebound
near the foul line. James used a head shake to dribble past Bobby
Jackson and then got around center Jake Tsakalidis by faking a
behind-the-back pass and laying it in with his right hand to make
The Cavs pushed their lead to 71-44 late in the third.
Strapped with three fouls, James scored eight points and played
only 11 minutes in the first half.But after he picked up foul No. 3
and went out, the Cavs ripped off seven straight points as Damon
Jones hit a 3-pointer and another jumper before Eric Snow's basket
made it 41-21.
Gasol, averaging 21.8 points coming in, didn't get his first
bucket until 5:54 remained in the second quarter when the Grizzlies
were down by 20.
Ilgauskas passed Austin Carr for third place on the Cavs'
career free throw list with 2,128 attempts. His 1,632 made shots,
moved him into fifth place all-time. ... Grizzlies F Shane Battier
had a season-high four blocks. ... The Cavs came in leading the NBA
in free-throw percentage (83.0), and went 17-for-19. ... Fratello
saw the gigantic billboard of James, which in just a few days has
become a downtown tourist site. "It looks good," said Fratello,
who coached the Cavs from 1993-99. "It's nice that Cleveland has a
player like that to hang its hat on." ... Damon Jones is
boycotting the media. He hasn't spoken to reporters since Brown
selected Snow as the club's starting point guard.