Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 11/21

Game 1: Saturday, November 21st
Game 2: Wednesday, December 16th
Game 3: Friday, March 12th

Cavaliers 100

(51-15, 23-11 away)

76ers 95

(23-42, 10-21 home)

    Coverage: CSN

    7:00 PM ET, March 12, 2010

    Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 36 25 17 22100
    PHI 34 23 22 1695

    Top Performers

    Cle: L. James 23 Pts, 6 Reb, 10 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Phi: A. Iguodala 30 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    LeBron records 26th double-double in return as Cavaliers win

    Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA -- A six-day layoff may have limited King James' conditioning, but not his skills. Any concern over LeBron James' ankle was alleviated in the first few minutes.

    James had 23 points, 10 assists and six rebounds in his return from a two-game absence, and the Cleveland Cavaliers won for the 14th time in their last 19 road games with a 100-95 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

    Back from an injured right ankle, James featured a crossover dribble for a step-back 3-pointer and soon followed with a no-look pass to Anderson Varejao. Don't forget the monstrous reverse dunk off an alley-oop pass.

    Fast Facts

    • LeBron James scored 23 points in his return from an ankle injury. James also had 10 assists, giving him 17 games with 20 points and 10 assists this season to lead the NBA.

    • The Cavaliers have won eight of their last nine games, while the 76ers have lost eight of their last nine.

    • Andre Iguodala led the 76ers with 30 points, his third 30-point game this season.

    • Elton Brand added 24 points. It was the fourth time that Iguodala and Brand have each scored 20 points in a game since Brand joined the 76ers.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    "I felt a little off rhythm," said James, who shot 7 of 18 from the field and 6 of 12 from the free throw line. "My wind was a little off, but it felt great to get back on the court with the guys."

    James, the league's leading scorer, recorded his 26th double-double. He entered the game averaging 30.0 points, 8.5 assists and 7.2 rebounds.

    Even with some offensive struggles, James' defense stuck out.

    "I thought defensively in the second half, LeBron had some big plays for us on the weak side," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "He busted it a couple of times going from the strong side to the weak side. He definitely made some spectacular plays on the weak side."

    Mo Williams added 21 points, Delonte West contributed 17 and Varejao had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers (51-15), who own the league's best record. Cleveland also won for the seventh straight time at the Wachovia Center.

    "What a beautiful game," Brown said. "It was pretty from all aspects."

    Cleveland's bench outscored the Sixers' 44-20. Cleveland played without forward Antawn Jamison, who didn't make the trip because of left knee stiffness.

    "It was good to get a win on the road like this without Antawn," James said.

    Andre Iguodala led the Sixers (23-42) with 30 points, Elton Brand added 24 and Thaddeus Young had 15. Samuel Dalembert grabbed 12 rebounds for Philadelphia, which dropped its third in a row and fell to 10-21 at home.

    "I think we played with a lot of intensity," Brand said. "They've won a lot of these close games and we haven't."

    Trailing 98-95, the Sixers had a chance to get closer, but rookie point guard Jrue Holiday committed a turnover and West followed with two free throws.

    "He probably should have been more aggressive to score the basketball," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said of Holiday, the youngest player in the league.

    The Sixers led 85-80 with 9:52 remaining, but Cleveland responded with an 8-0 run to go ahead 88-85. Jamario Moon scored five points during the spurt.

    "We have to keep working at it and find ways to win tight games at the end," Young said.

    Thanks to some suffocating defense, the Cavaliers had plenty of chances. Williams hit a 3-pointer with 4:05 left to give them a 94-88 lead.

    West scored 15 points and Varejao added 10, and Cleveland shot 57 percent in the first half on its way to a 61-57 lead. The Sixers kept it close thanks to 16 points apiece from Iguodala and Brand.

    Game notes

    Former Sixers coach Larry Brown denied a published report that he advised Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider not to fire coach Eddie Jordan before the season ends. "No, I've had no direct conversations," Brown said. "I think I said it when I was in Philly. I don't think I said it the way you presented it, but I talked about what I thought about the coach, what I thought about the franchise and what I thought about their roster. I tried to be positive, because there's not a lot of positive stuff in the press about Philly." ... Sixers F Marreese Speights missed the game with a sprained right knee. ... Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy attended the game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 100 95
    FGM-FGA 38-75 (.507) 42-88 (.477)
    3PM-3PA 10-31 (.323) 2-15 (.133)
    FTM-FTA 14-23 (.609) 9-16 (.563)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-36 14-44
    Assists 26 20
    Turnovers 11 10
    Steals 6 8
    Blocks 3 1
    Fast Break Points 13 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 20 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 11 5

    Top Performers

    LeBron James James
    Points: 23
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3
    Andre Iguodala Iguodala
    Points: 30
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0