Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/27

Game 1: Saturday, November 27th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 8th
Game 3: Wednesday, February 23rd
Game 4: Thursday, March 31st

Bulls 91

(27-24, 10-14 away)

Cavaliers 100

(31-21, 21-5 home)

    Coverage: FSOH

    7:00 PM ET, February 23, 2005

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 20 17 25 2991
    CLE 21 22 30 27100

    Top Performers

    Chi: B. Gordon 21 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

    Cle: Z. Ilgauskas 33 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Stl, 7 Blk

    Cavs up home record to 21-5

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cavaliers' All-Star twosome refuse to take any break.

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas and LeBron James scored 41 of Cleveland's 57 points in the second half as the Cavaliers came back from a few days off with a 100-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

    Ilgauskas scored 33 points -- 26 after halftime -- and added eight rebounds and seven blocks, matching a career high. James finished with 27 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and five steals as the Cavaliers improved to 21-5 at home.

    "We're the two All-Stars on the team," James said, "and we're All-Stars for a reason. We showed why tonight."

    Trading shot for shot and basket for basket, Ilgauskas and James combined for 24 of their team's 30 points in the third period when the Bulls, who beat Miami in overtime on Tuesday, began to look tired.

    The Ilgauskas-James Show continued in the fourth quarter, and at one point, the pair combined to score 35 consecutive points for Cleveland.

    "You kind of expect it out of LeBron," Cavaliers coach Paul Silas said. "If Z continues to play like that in the second half of the season, we've got a good chance to do something really special."

    Ben Gordon scored 21 points, 13 in the fourth quarter, to pace Chicago, which had its winning streak stopped at four. Kirk Hinrich added 13 points and Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry 12 apiece for the Bulls, who didn't have much left in reserve after their game against the Heat.

    "We had some cement shoes we were walking around in," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "We were way too slow."

    The Bulls did a nice job containing the 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas in the first half, holding him to just seven points. But it was a different story in the second half as Cleveland's big man did almost anything he pleased.

    Leading by four at half, the Cavaliers began to take control midway through the third quarter with Ilgauskas and James, who helped the East win Sunday's All-Star game in Denver, doing most of the damage.

    Ilgauskas scored eight points in the first six minutes and James ended an 11-4 spurt with a 3-point play as the Cavaliers opened a 60-47 lead. Chandler was the only one back for Chicago after a steal, but he did a poor job of wrapping up James, who was able to muscle in his off-balance shot while being fouled.

    Ilgauskas followed with a three-point play and the Cavaliers pushed their lead to 73-62 after three.

    Gordon heated up from the outside and Curry's dunk brought the Bulls to 79-72 with 9:12 left. But Ilgauskas and James then traded baskets with James' 3-pointer from the top of the key making it 86-74.

    The Bulls closed to 90-79 but Ira Newble scored underneath on a sweet pass from James with 3:54 left, the first basket scored by a Cavalier other than James or Ilgauskas since the 7:20 mark of the third.

    "You stop LeBron and he finds people," Chandler said, shaking his head. "He's definitely amazing out there."

    Both teams had trouble shaking off some All-Star break rust in the first half.

    The Cavaliers made just 11-of-17 free throws, committed 19 personal fouls and shot 36 percent from the floor. Chicago, meanwhile, hit only 28 percent (11-of-39) of its field-goal attempts and were 15-of-23 from the line.

    Game notes

    Ilgauskas went 17-for-19 from the line. The 17 made free throws were one off the club record held by Mark Price. ... Cleveland's bench has been outscored 104-19 in the past two games. ... Gordon has scored 10 or more points in the fourth quarter 16 times this season, a league-high. ... With Thursday's 3 p.m. trading deadline looming, Cavs GM Jim Paxson has been busy working the phones. "I'm dialing more than it's ringing," said Paxson, who won't make a deal that could cut into the $20 million in salary cap space the club will have this summer to spend on free agents. "We'll listen to anything we think could make us better, but I would not like to hurt potential flexibility." ... After holding opponents under 100 points in 26 straight games, the Bulls have allowed 100 in 10 of 12.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 100
    FGM-FGA 32-74 (.432) 34-75 (.453)
    3PM-3PA 4-12 (.333) 1-7 (.143)
    FTM-FTA 23-34 (.676) 31-41 (.756)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-36 14-47
    Assists 11 22
    Turnovers 17 17
    Steals 8 12
    Blocks 6 11
    Fast Break Points 8 21
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (2/0) 28 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 4 19

    Top Performers

    Ben Gordon Gordon
    Points: 21
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Zydrunas Ilgauskas Ilgauskas
    Points: 33
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 7