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James leads Cavs in bounce-back win against Clippers

Jan 14, 2007 - 8:04 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers showed some resolve.

James scored 28 points and keyed a decisive second-half run as the Cavaliers posted a 104-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Eric Snow scored a season-high 18 points for Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland, which had its five-game winning streak snapped Friday at Phoenix in a game they trailed by as many as 33 points.

"We got out behinds kicked by Phoenix, we watched the tape, then we worked on some things that Phoenix did to hurt us, then we got ready for the Clippers," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "It wasn't any rally cry or trying to prove a point. If we are professional we come to play for 48 minutes, whoever our opponent is."

With the game tied with just under four minutes left in the third period, the Cavaliers pulled away with a 23-7 spurt over the next eight minutes. James started the run with a jumper and scored six points as the Cavaliers ended the third period with a 79-69 edge.

Damon Jones, who ended the period with three free throws after getting fouled on a 3-pointer, knocked down a shot from the arc early in the fourth quarter. Snow converted a three-point play and James made two free throws to expand the edge to 87-71 with eight minutes left.

"We let the Phoenix game go and this was another game," James said. "We took care of business and did what we had to do."

"We had a lot of mental mistakes," Clippers guard Sam Cassell said. "We had a lot of unforced turnovers like at the end of the third quarter when we were up by four points and we gave up a three-point play. We fouled Damon Jones on a three point shot, that's three easy points."

James shot 10-of-23 from the field and added six rebounds and six assists.

"I think we did an excellent job of taking them out of their first option," James said. "Trying to take them into the second or third option. After that we were able to help and put two on the ball. We did a good job.

"I haven't won in this building yet, so it was nice to finally get one. It was mentioned to me before the game and I am glad that's over now."

Cleveland played without guard Larry Hughes, who sat with a strained left quadricep.

"I am not sure (about Hughes' status), it is a day-to-day type deal," Brown said. We are going to make sure he gets some rest and continues to rehab and we'll figure it out as it goes along. It's not one particular injury, he was overcompensating for the high ankle sprain and we don't want that to wear on him and then we have another problem on our hands."

The Clippers shot 46.5 percent (33-of-71) and committed 14 turnovers.

"The game is reflected right in the stat sheet for us, 22 points worth of turnovers just shot us in the foot. ... We made bad decisions with the ball and turnovers, which led to fast breaks. It wasn't three-second calls or balls that we threw out of bounds. They were plays that directly led to easy scores for them."

Snow shot 7-of-14 and Zydrunas Ilguaskas scored 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting as the Cavaliers improved to 2-1 on a tough seven-game road trip by shooting 50 percent (39-of-78) and committing just eight turnovers.

"We didn't try to do anything that wasn't in the gameplan," Snow said. "We pretty much try to go through LeBron, go through Z and Drew (Gooden). We just had more opportunities with Larry out. We have to pick up the slack, but no one guy is going to do it. The opportunities are going to be there when he's out.

Corey Maggette scored 22 points and Chris Kaman added 20 for the Clippers, who just returned home after winning the final two games of a six-game road trip.

"It is very frustrating not keeping the momentum going, said Clippers forward Elton Brand, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds. We pretty much dominated the first quarter of the night, but it is definitely frustrating to not play well for the entire game."

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