Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/15

Game 1: Sunday, January 15th
Trail Blazers89
Game 2: Friday, March 17th
Trail Blazers84Final

Cavaliers 87

(20-15, 6-10 away)

Trail Blazers 89

(13-24, 9-10 home)

6:00 PM ET, January 15, 2006

Moda Center, Portland, OR

1 2 3 4 T
CLE 30 16 21 2087
POR 27 24 20 1889

Top Performers

Cle: L. James 29 Pts, 13 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

Por: R. Patterson 16 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Portland 89, Cleveland 87

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- After Ruben Patterson made sure LeBron James didn't beat the Portland Trail Blazers, he took a bit of good-natured ribbing from teammate Zach Randolph.

Randolph serenaded Patterson in the locker room: "If Ruben can't do it, nobody can!"

Patterson and Randolph each had 16 points and seven rebounds, and the Trail Blazers edged the depleted Cleveland Cavaliers 89-87 Sunday night.

LeBron James had 29 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who lost their fourth straight. James had just seven points in the second half, with Patterson leading the way on defense.

"Ruben came in and gave us big energy," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "He wore LeBron down."

The Blazers, who have won three straight for just the second time this season, led by as many as 11 points in the second half, but the Cavaliers cut their deficit to 83-81 on Alan Henderson's layup. James followed with a 3-pointer to give Cleveland an 84-83 lead with 3:10 to go.

Juan Dixon answered with a 3 to put Portland back in front before Cleveland's Zydrunas Ilgauskas tied it with a jumper. With 47.7 seconds left, Henderson fouled Randolph, who made both his shots to give the Blazers an 88-86 lead.

Eric Snow missed one of two free throws to make it 88-87 with 37.1 seconds to go. After both sides missed long jumpers, Ilgauskas fouled out and Patterson made just one of his foul shots.

James took the ball down the court, and Snow was off with his long jumper as time wound down.

"I just didn't make the shots I wanted to in the second half," James said.

Afterward, McMillan embraced Patterson.

"He just said 'Great D," Patterson said.

The Cavaliers have been hurt by the loss of Larry Hughes, who is expected to miss eight weeks after having surgery on his broken right middle finger. Cleveland is 2-5 without him, including a 115-106 loss Saturday at Phoenix. James had 46 points, eight assists and seven rebounds against the Suns.

The Cavaliers also were without forward Drew Gooden, who left the game against the Suns with a strained right thigh. The team said Gooden was day-to-day and scheduled to see a doctor on Monday.

"This is a tough time for us," James said.

The loss of Gooden, who has had six double-doubles in his last 10 games, put an added burden on James, who had 22 points in the first half.

The Cavaliers trailed by as many as seven points in the half, but James kept making sure the game didn't get out of hand -- his rim-shaking dunk made tied it at 43.

After the Blazers led 51-46 at the break, the Cavaliers came out with a 13-2 run capped by Damon Jones' 3-pointer to take a 59-53 advantage.

The Blazers came back to take a 77-67 lead on Theo Ratliff's dunk.

"Ruben is a good defender ... that's what he prides himself in," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "He did a great job on D, making it tough on LeBron, and he had a lot of help from his teammates."

Portland was coming off a 113-108 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night, and 113-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers two nights earlier.

Game notes

James committed Saturday to join the United States national team for this year's world championships and 2008 Olympics. ... Former Southern California coach George Raveling was in the crowd. ... Cavaliers forward Luke Jackson hails from Creswell, Ore., and went to the University of Oregon, where he played with guard Luke Ridnour, now with the Seattle SuperSonics.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 87 89
FGM-FGA 32-75 (.427) 34-78 (.436)
3PM-3PA 6-23 (.261) 3-9 (.333)
FTM-FTA 17-24 (.708) 18-26 (.692)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-32 14-43
Assists 19 16
Turnovers 9 13
Steals 7 3
Blocks 5 4
Fast Break Points 8 13
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 21 (1/0)
Largest Lead 6 11

Top Performers

LeBron James James
Points: 29
Reb: 13
Ast: 7
Stl: 1
Blk: 3
Ruben Patterson Patterson
Points: 16
Reb: 7
Ast: 1
Stl: 1
Blk: 1