Saturday, March 28, 2009
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James, Williams lead Cavs to 11th straight win

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[March 28, 2009]  CLEVELAND (AP) -- LeBron James scored 25 points and Mo Williams added 22, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their 11th straight win, a 107-85 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

Cleveland's victory ties the franchise record for consecutive wins in a season. The Cavaliers (59-13) also won 11 straight from Nov. 22-Dec. 12 this season and have accomplished the feat four other times.

InsuranceCleveland, which set a franchise mark for victories in a season Wednesday, will go for its 60th win Sunday against Dallas at home, where the Cavaliers are 34-1. Cleveland leads Boston and Orlando by five games for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The loss extended the Timberwolves' overall losing streak to seven games and their road skid to nine. Kevin Love and Randy Foye each scored 18 points for the Timberwolves, who have lost 18 of 20.

James scored 18 points in the first quarter, shooting 6-of-9 from the field, including two 3-pointers. He made all four of his free-throw attempts and had five rebounds in the period.

James, who'll be profiled on CBS' "60 Minutes" this Sunday in an interview he did a few months ago, was 8-of-14 from the field, grabbed 12 rebounds and had seven assists in 34 minutes.


Minnesota center Jason Collins was charged with a flagrant foul for hitting James in the face in the third quarter. James broke through a double team at the top of the key and drove into the lane, where he was struck by Collins' upper arm and went to the floor.

Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas shoved Collins and was assessed a technical foul.

Williams sprained the pinkie on his right hand early in the fourth quarter and did not return. X-rays were negative.

The Cavaliers led by double digits in the first half, but Minnesota cut the lead to 45-39 with 4:39 left in the second quarter on Brian Cardinal's 3-pointer. Cleveland ended the half on an 11-0 run - and none of the points came from James. Delonte West scored five points, including a 3-point play, while Anderson Varejao scored two baskets and Ilgauskas made two free throws.

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The Cavaliers built a 22-point lead in the third period, but the Timberwolves rallied within 12 at 86-74 with 7:13 to play. Daniel Gibson hit three 3-pointers, Ilgauskas added a 3 and James made a basket and a free throw to push the lead to 101-79.

A game after benching his starting five to begin Wednesday's game against Philadelphia, Minnesota coach Kevin McHale started two regulars, Love and Ryan Gomes, along with Collins, Rodney Carney and Kevin Ollie.

Notes:@ During his "60 Minutes" profile, James sank an underhand shot from 50 feet. And, yes, he did it on the first try. "One take," he said with a laugh. "That's me." ... James hopes to see Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, his high school alma mater, play in the Division II state championship game Saturday in Columbus. James led the Irish to three straight state titles, beginning with his sophomore year. ... Minnesota is 3-20 since Al Jefferson suffered a season-ending knee injury Feb. 8. ... The Timberwolves host New Jersey on Sunday.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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