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James' 32-point outburst carries Cavaliers past Celtics

Jan 4, 2007 - 6:00 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Superstar LeBron James continued to have the Boston Celtics sing a sad song.

James scored 32 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added a season-high 27 and 11 rebounds as the Cavaliers notched their fifth win in six games, a 107-104 triumph over the Celtics.

Cleveland has won seven consecutive meetings with Boston, including a 94-93 victory on November 11 that featured 25 second-half points by James.

"I didn't even know it was seven in a row," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "I take this thing one game at a time. If it's seven in a row than it's seven in a row. We haven't figured anything out against Boston, we just know who our opponent is and try to play for 48 minutes."

Boston has not won in the series since December 18, 2004.

In the fourth quarter, the Celtics pulled to within 105-104 as Gerald Green scored on a driving layup over James and Tony Allen split a pair of free throws with eight seconds left.

After James sank two foul shots, Boston had a chance to send the game into overtime.

"A lot of people say I can't shoot free throws but at the end of the game I want the ball," James said. "If I make em then it's good and if I miss them then I have to take the responsibility. But at the end of the ballgame when we have to hit two free throws I want the ball."

But Wally Szczerbiak, who went 1-of-5 from the arc, misfired on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

"Every shot feels good, they're just not going down right now," Szczerbiak said. "The guys look to me to knock down those shots and I had some phenomenal looks in the last three minutes."

Brown was glad to see Ilgauskas finally have a breakout performance.

"The guy that anchored us, not only scored for us but got other guys baskets was Z (Ilgauskas) in the middle," Brown said. "I thought he was huge for us, in hockey he would have had a ton of assists."

James' impressive 75-foot shot off the glass as time expired in the third quarter capped a 12-1 surge, giving the Cavaliers a 79-76 advantage heading into the final period. He scored 14 points in the quarter.

"Every day after practice, me and Drew (Gooden) shoot trick shots like that everyday," James said. "(Wednesday) was one of those times where I got one off and it went in."

Cleveland outscored Boston, 33-22, in the period.

"We came out to start the third and we didn't execute three times in a row," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Guys just forgot the plays. That's what got us. You got to remind yourself that they're still learning some. But that first four minutes got them back in it."

Larry Hughes scored 14 points and Gooden chipped in 13 and 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who shot 48 percent (38-of-79) from the field.

Allen scored 22 points and Green netted 14 of his 21 in the second quarter for Boston, which has lost seven of eight overall and fell to 4-11 at home.

"I thought he (Green) played tremendous in the first half," Rivers said. "It was his best first half of the year on both ends. I was really happy with him."