Arenas scored 26 points, and the Wizards shut down James in the
second half in a 102-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday
"We tried to pressure the ball, take him a little out of his
game, and see if things might happen," Arenas said. "It's a real
good win for us."
James finished with 25 points, but went 0-for-8 from the field
and 4-for-12 from the foul line in the second half as Cleveland
dropped its second straight after winning three in a row.
"I put all the blame on myself," said James, who came in
averaging 35.8 points on 52 percent shooting over his previous five
games. "It was a bad performance by me, simple as that."
James missed his final seven from the line -- and was even booed
in the final minutes. After missing a shot from the wing with 5
seconds left, he angrily ripped off his headband, threw it into the
crowd and walked off the court.
James said he "of course" heard the boos, adding, "If these
fans want to boo me, it's on them."
Arenas said he's had tough nights, too.
"I had one of those in Orlando when I missed eight straight,"
Arenas said. "It's harder at home."
It was their second win over Cleveland this month. Arenas
outscored James 32-18 in a 12-point win in Washington on Feb. 10.
James had more than shooting troubles. Early in the fourth
quarter, he was fouled on a clear break to the basket, then
inadvertently poked in the eye by referee Phil Robinson as he
leaned in to hear the call. James didn't come out and did not seem
to have any ill effects.
"Me staying out there as much as I was didn't excuse me missing
all those shots and free throws," he said. "It was one of those
Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 23 points and five blocked shots for
Cleveland while Donyell Marshall scored 13 of his 19 points in the
fourth quarter to keep the Cavaliers close. But two key turnovers
doomed the Cavaliers' chances.
Antonio Daniels picked off an errant pass and went end-to-end to
score on a layup that put Washington ahead 90-89 with 4:37 to play.
Jamison then stole the ball from Marshall at midcourt and hit an
11-footer for a 92-87 lead with 3:37 left.
Marshall converted a three-point play to get Cleveland within
95-94 with 1:46 to go. James had a chance to put Cleveland ahead 28
seconds later, but missed both free throws -- and was booed.
"It's tough on LeBron, but this loss was not just his fault,"
Marshall said. "He wants to take responsibility for it, but we're
not going to let him."
Marshall said James, who played all but 14 seconds, is tired
from the All-Star weekend, even though the 21-year-old won't admit
"We all got three days rest and he didn't get any," Marshall
said. "We have to be smart how we use him in games -- and in
Daniels made a layup, Butler a 3-pointer and Arenas two free
throws to close out the scoring.
James scored 11 points -- including eight straight -- during a
23-7 run that turned a 37-27 deficit into a 50-44 lead 2:32 before
First, James scored on a twisting drive to the basket. After
Ilgauskas blocked a shot at the other end, he hit a 3-pointer from
well beyond the arc to tie it at 42. Seconds after Butler made two
free throws, James hit another 3 to put Cleveland ahead for the
first time at 45-44.
James had 21 points in the first half and Cleveland led 54-51 at
The Wizards tied a season high with 10 3-pointers,
including a career-high four by Butler. ... Washington is 19-11
since Butler was put into the starting lineup Dec. 21. ... G Flip
Murray, acquired Thursday from Seattle, hit his first shot for the
Cavaliers, a jumper from the corner in the second quarter. Murray
finished with four points and four assists in 24 minutes. ...
Entertainer and Cavs minority owner Usher attended his first game
of the season Tuesday, but was not back at courtside Friday. ...
Jamison is expecting to get a tryout for the U.S. Olympic team.
"Who wouldn't want the opportunity?" he said before the game. "I
grew up watching the Dream Team. It's definitely something I