for this game

Bobcats bottle up James, hold on to beat Cavaliers

Nov 5, 2006 - 3:16 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- The Charlotte Bobcats finally found a way to contain LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Raymond Felton scored 23 points and fellow point guard Brevin Knight netted nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Bobcats held on for a 92-88 triumph over the Cavaliers.

Charlotte had been winless in seven all-time meetings with Cleveland since entering the NBA in 2004. James had enjoyed success against Charlotte, averaging 34 points in his three clashes with the Bobcats last season.

But Charlotte battered James and his teammates on the defensive end while Felton and Knight orchestrated a balanced attack that featured five scorers in double figures.

"It was a big win for us, a win we needed," Felton said. "We started 0-2. We needed to get that monkey off our back early, real early. We scrapped like we always do."

Sean May collected 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench for Charlotte, which limited Cleveland to just 38 points after the break.

"It just boils down to them wanting it more than us," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "We haven't arrived and have a long way to go. If we think we can just show up and beat teams in this league, then we're going to have a long season."

Cleveland owned a 59-55 lead with 5:35 left in the third quarter when May ignited a 14-4 run that gave Charlotte a 69-63 lead late in the session. The 13th overall pick in 2005, May scored eight points during the burst.

"It feels good to get a win, but there's still a lot we can take away from it," said May, who also had a career-high three blocks, including one on James. "We didn't lose control when calls didn't go our way. We kept our composure and guys made plays."

Rookie Adam Morrison scored 13 points off the bench while 2005 Rookie of the Year Emeka Okafor added 12 for the Bobcats, who limited the Cavaliers to just 35 percent shooting (12-of-34) in the second half.

"We kept trying to work through the offense, and it kind of broke down," James said. "Tonight we couldn't make shots. There were a lot of open shots we missed. They're an NBA team just like we are. I don't know if we took them lightly or if they executed better."

Charlotte used athletic swingman Gerald Wallace and reserves Morrison and Bernard Robinson to bottle up James, who scored 35 points in Friday's 88-81 victory at San Antonio.

The high-flying James was grounded, scoring 16 points on 3-of-13 shooting and going down after a collision with Knight late in the game.

"Obviously (James) is one of the best players in the NBA right now and will be for quite some time," Morrison said. "So it's one of those things where you've just got to play your best and crowd him and know our teammates are going to be there."

"We called some post-up play for (James), but they doubled him and then he had to kick out the ball," Brown added. "They did a nice job doubling him and we got some open looks, but they didn't go in."

Of all the bumps and bruises James took, the hardest came with 1:29 remaining. While falling out of bounds, Cleveland's Larry Hughes retrieved a loose ball and flipped it toward the middle of the court. The 6-8, 240-pound James nearly grabbed the pass before colliding hard with 5-10, 170-pound Knight and crumpling to the floor.

"I got a little headache," said James, who remained in the game. "I just remember it was like I got hit in a car accident."

It was the lowest scoring output in eight career games against the Bobcats for James, who collected nine rebounds and seven assists. Drew Gooden had 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who owned a 46-34 advantage on the glass.

Cleveland reeled off a 20-4 run in the opening quarter and entered the second period with a 28-20 advantage. But after leading by as many as 12 points, the Cavs clearly lost momentum to the Bobcats, who cut their deficit to 50-46 at the break.

"We have a lot of fight," said Felton, who dished out six assists. "The game of basketball is about runs. If you make a big run, you've got to expect the other team to make a big run. So you've got to staying poised, keep your composure and keep believing."

"They just played harder than us," Brown said. "We thought we could just show up and win the ballgame. We came out and scored 28 points in the first quarter, and at times we scored rather easily. We thought it was just going to be a good ol' fun night out there, but Charlotte had other plans."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!