CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cavaliers' All-Star twosome refuse to take
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
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
The Ilgauskas-James Show continued in the fourth quarter, and at
one point, the pair combined to score 35 consecutive points for
"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
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
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
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
"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.
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.
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