Final / OT

Cleveland wins series 4-2 (Game 6 of 6)

Cleveland wins series 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, April 22nd
Game 2: Tuesday, April 25th
Game 3: Friday, April 28th
Game 4: Sunday, April 30th
Game 5: Wednesday, May 3rd
Game 6: Friday, May 5th

Cavaliers 114

(50-32, 19-22 away)

Wizards 113

(42-40, 27-14 home)

Coverage: CSNB

8:00 PM ET, May 5, 2006

Verizon Center, Washington, DC

1 2 3 4 OT T
CLE 17 31 27 32 7114
WSH 24 25 27 31 6113

Top Performers

Cle: L. James 32 Pts, 7 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

WSH: G. Arenas 36 Pts, 5 Reb, 11 Ast, 2 Stl

Jones comes off bench to hit OT game-winner for Cavs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was Damon Jones' turn to hit the winning shot, and it put the Cleveland Cavaliers into the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.

Jones' 17-foot baseline jumper with 4.8 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Cavaliers a 114-113 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night, Cleveland's third one-point victory in a series that ended with the visitors celebrating in a pile near midcourt and left the home team stunned into silence.

"Damon Jones, self-proclaimed 'Best Shooter in the Universe,' hit a dagger," said LeBron James, who made the winning shots in Games 3 and 5.

James scored 32 points in the Game 6 finale, his first playoff series ending in success.

"This is probably one of the best feelings I've had in a long time," James said. "I didn't want to come here and just be happy to be in the playoffs."

He outdueled Gilbert Arenas, who scored 36 points and sent the game to overtime with a long 3-pointer -- then missed two free throws in overtime that gave Cleveland the chance to win.

"It is hard to swallow," Arenas said. "You feel you let your team down."

Cavaliers won two road games in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history and won a playoff series for the first time since 1993, when James was 8 years old. They will have little time to celebrate. They open the second round at Detroit on Sunday.

The last two games of the series went to overtime, and Game 6 was tight once the Cavaliers overcame the Wizards' 14-point first-quarter lead. For 24 minutes -- from early in the second quarter to early in the fourth -- neither team led by more than five points.

Jones was a marginal player in the series, and he was on the court for only the final sequence of Game 6. His line: 1-for-1 with 2 points in 14 seconds of play.

James shot 15-for-25 and had seven rebounds, seven assists and five turnovers. He had a pair of key blocks and persevered after getting knocked woozy in a collision with Wizards center Brendan Haywood early in the fourth quarter.

Donyell Marshall scored a season-high 28 points, and Flip Murray had 21 for the Cavaliers.

Antonio Daniels scored 22 for the Wizards. Caron Butler had 18 points and 20 rebounds. Antawn Jamison was in foul trouble much of the night and finished with 15 points.

The Wizards blew a seven-point led with 4:48 to play in regulation and needed Arenas' 30-footer with 2.3 seconds to play to send the game to overtime.

James vs. Arenas Series Stats
James Arenas
Points Per Game 35.7 34
Field Goal Pct. 51 46.4
Rebounds Per Game 7.5 5.5
Assists Per Game 5.6 5.3
4th Quarter PPG 10 11.5

"He shot it from the ESPN booth," James said.

In the extra period, Butler made two free throws with 30 seconds left to give the Wizards a one-point lead. The Cavaliers were working to try to retake the lead when Eric Snow launched a crosscourt pass that flew over the head of Murray and into Washington's bench.

The turnover gave the Wizards the ball, but Arenas failed to capitalize by missing both free throws when he was fouled with 15 seconds left. He might have been thrown off by James, who engaged in a bit of gamesmanship by talking to Arenas between the two attempts.

"I told him if he missed both of those free throws, the game was over," James said.

Arenas' account was a little different. He said James told him: "If you miss this, you know who's hitting the game-winner."

But it was Jones who then hit the winner -- a surprise, given that the Cavaliers have ridden James' shoulders throughout the series -- and Butler missed a jumper at the buzzer for the Wizards.

James was rattled when the side of his head collided with the upper body of Haywood with 9:59 to play. Haywood was called for a foul but not a flagrant one -- there appeared to be nothing malicious about the contact -- yet James was on his hands and knees for about a half-minute while Cleveland called timeout.

James missed both free throws -- amazingly, his first attempts of the game -- and committed a turnover on Cleveland's next possession.

He eventually recovered. James sprawled on the floor to retrieve a rebound after Washington's Jared Jeffries missed the second of two free throws with 1:10 to play. James also blocked Jamison's layup from behind, setting up a fast break that led to a pair of free throws from Murray with 23 seconds to play, giving the Cavaliers their first lead of the fourth quarter.

Arenas had the chance to give the Wizards the lead again, but he missed a layup in traffic. After a series of free throws, Arenas hit his long 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.

Coach Eddie Jordan has often said the Wizards can handle adversity but not prosperity -- they regularly overcome daunting deficits but often blow big leads. Their 24-10 edge was built on 9-for-12 shooting, but the Cavaliers needed only six minutes to tie the game in a run highlighted by James' block on Arenas.

The sequence began when Arenas stole a pass near midcourt and drove for a dunk, but James challenged the shot and both players crashed to the floor. When no foul was called, Jordan screamed and kicked. He and Arenas were assessed technicals, and Jordan was restrained by Daniels and two assistant coaches.

Game notes

The Cavaliers had never won a Game 6, going 0-4 all-time until Friday. ... Butler mistakenly took the free throw after the flagrant foul involving Haywood, so Haywood had to retake the free throw later in the quarter. ... James has set at least 15 franchise records in the series. Perhaps the most telling is his 182 total points through five games, easily surpassing Brad Daugherty's mark of 158 set over seven games in the 1992 Eastern Conference finals.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press