Final / 2OT

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/22

Game 1: Tuesday, November 22nd
Game 2: Wednesday, February 15th
Game 3: Friday, March 24th
Game 4: Monday, April 17th

Cavaliers 113

(31-21, 12-14 away)

Celtics 109

(20-32, 16-12 home)

Coverage: FSOH

7:30 PM ET, February 15, 2006

TD Garden, Boston, MA

1 2 3 4 OT 2OT T
CLE 30 20 21 22 9 11113
BOS 23 20 22 28 9 7109

Top Performers

Cle: L. James 43 Pts, 12 Reb, 11 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

Bos: P. Pierce 50 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast

LeBron's triple double leads Cavs; Pierce nets 50

BOSTON (AP) -- LeBron James and the streaking Cleveland Cavaliers spoiled the highest-scoring game by a Celtics' player in more than 16 years.

James had 43 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season and the Cavaliers overcame Paul Pierce's 50-point performance to beat the Celtics 113-109 in double overtime on Wednesday night.

Drew Gooden added 19 points and 11 rebounds and Damon Jones had 13 points for Cleveland.

Pierce shot 17-for-36 from the field and 16-for-20 from the free-throw line to become the first Celtic to score 50 since Larry Bird had 50 on Nov. 10, 1989.

"I really got into a groove in the second half," Pierce said. "Guys were getting the ball to me. It felt good to me. You know, it would have felt a lot better if we would have been on the other side, but it was just a great game to be a part."

Cleveland (31-21) matched its 52-game record from last year. While the Cavaliers closed last season 11-19 and missed the playoffs, this year's team enters the All-Star break in second place in the Central Division.

Cleveland coach Mike Brown said this is a game the Cavaliers would have lost last year.

"We're not a good road team and so any way we can win on the road, we'll take it," Brown said. "It was a character win because we could have folded."

The Celtics trailed by as many as 13, but Pierce scored 31 points after the first half to keep the game close before fouling out with a minute remaining in the second overtime. Boston (20-32) lost its seventh game in nine tries.

James, coming off a 44-point performance against San Antonio on Monday night, drew Pierce's final foul with 1:00 remaining and made 1-of-2 free throws to put the Cavaliers up 109-107.

On Cleveland's next possession, James sealed the game with a layup in traffic.

"We just made the big play at the end," James said. "We just willed a way to win. This was one of the wildest games, especially on the road. But I love it. Being on the road, you got the fans against you and we found a way to win. It was awesome."

Wally Szczerbiak scored 17 points and Delonte West added 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Celtics.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 points for Cleveland, but missed a pair of free throws with 7.1 seconds remaining in regulation that would have iced the game.

Following Ilgauskas' misses, Pierce drew a foul on James with 0.2 seconds remaining and hit both free throws to send the game into overtime.

Cleveland was just 25-of-40 from the free-throw line.

"It was a winnable game," West said. "This one is tough to swallow."

After a pair of Ryan Gomes layups gave the Celtics a 90-88 lead with 1:54 remaining, James hit a layup in traffic to tie the game.

James then deflected a pass to Pierce, raced down the floor, received an Eric Snow pass at the free-throw line and threw down a slam dunk over West to put the Cavaliers up 92-90 with 1:23 left.

Damon Jones made 1-of-2 free throws with 26.4 seconds remaining and James blocked a West 3-point attempt in the closing seconds.

James was outscored by Pierce 17-6 in the fourth quarter and missed a potential game-winning layup in the closing seconds of the first overtime before redeeming himself in the second overtime.

"This is a team win, but it goes back to LeBron James coming up big for us," Brown said. "He's a heck of a player and he definitely helped us get this win tonight."

Game notes

The Cavaliers won in Boston for just the second time in 14 tries. ...James has eight career triple-doubles. ... West was selected to replace Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson on the sophomore team in the 2006 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge. Nelson will miss the game with a sprained right foot. ...The Celtics haven't won more than two consecutive games this season. ...The Celtics are 2-1 with Gomes in the starting lineup.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 113 109
FGM-FGA 41-92 (.446) 40-89 (.449)
3PM-3PA 6-19 (.316) 2-16 (.125)
FTM-FTA 25-40 (.625) 27-33 (.818)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-47 8-43
Assists 23 21
Turnovers 12 14
Steals 7 3
Blocks 5 6
Fast Break Points 7 9
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (1/0) 31 (2/0)
Largest Lead 13 2

Top Performers

LeBron James James
Points: 43
Reb: 12
Ast: 11
Stl: 2
Blk: 4
Paul Pierce Pierce
Points: 50
Reb: 7
Ast: 8
Stl: 0
Blk: 0