Cavaliers
Warriors
106 - 104 Final - OT
  for this game

James huge on both ends as Cavs top Warriors

Jan 21, 2007 - 8:27 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- LeBron James is known for a lot of things but defense isn't one of them.

James came up with a game-saving strip of Matt Barnes with 2.5 seconds remaining as the Cleveland Cavaliers avoided a late-game collapse en route to a 106-104 overtime victory over the new-look Golden State Warriors.

James also had another well-balanced offensive game, collecting 32 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Cavaliers, who spoiled the debuts of Warriors newcomers Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Al Harrington.

"I am still trying to figure the guys out, and once I do, I will be able to put them in better spots where they won't commit as many turnovers," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "It was a glimpse of what we can be. We are still figuring out how to use them best.

"The combination of Jackson and Harrington is pretty special, and it looks like we got another good player in Sarunas. I liked what I saw in him, and he can definitely play the point guard."

However, the Warriors' newly acquired talent didn't have the chance to play with Golden State's on-court leader, point guard Baron Davis, who was suspended for one game for taking a swing at Los Angeles Clippers forward Quinton Ross late in Wednesday's loss.

"I felt it was unfair for them to be in that situation, not having my best player to help them out," Nelson said. "We were very limited in what we could run because of that. I am very glad we made the trade when we did. They will play much better when we get Baron back, and we can lean on him a little more."

After Jasikevicius drained a 3-pointer to make it 106-104 with eight seconds left in the extra period, James turned the ball over with seven seconds left, giving Golden State a chance to tie.

Barnes then backed his way two feet from the basket before being stripped on the way up by James, who saved a potential game-tying layup.

"I had to make up for it," James said. "I was very careless on the play before, letting (Jackson) hit the ball off my leg and go out of bounds. That was a big play for them, so I just want to try to make up for it in the best way I could."

However, Cleveland tried to give the game away. On the ensuing possession, David Wesley missed two free throws and the Warriors had one last chance. But Jackson missed a contested shot from the arc as time expired.

"It was a great win for us," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "We could have easily rolled over and quit. But our guys decided to come out in the second half and play the type of basketball we are capable of."

James was 14-of-22 from the field, including 2-of-7 on 3-pointers.

"I was just being a leader," James said. "It gives me an opportunity to go out there and play well, it gives me the opportunity to go out there and not worry about making a mistake."

However, with the game tied on the final possession of regulation, James dished to Sasha Pavlovic, who missed a wide-open 3-pointer. After an offensive rebound by Anderson Varejao, James misfired from the arc, setting up his heroics in overtime.

The Warriors played their first game after a blockbuster trade with Indiana on Wednesday. Golden State acquired Harrington, Jackson, Jasikevicius and forward Josh Powell from the Pacers for forwards Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy and Ike Diogu and guard Keith McLeod.

Jackson scored 29 points on 10-of-25 shooting for the Warriors, who shot just 40 percent (39-of-98) and absorbed their fifth loss in their last six games.

"For the first game, I did OK," Jackson said. "I still have to learn all the plays and get a feel for everyone. But it's all about winning with me, and we lost. I'm glad I was able to come out and contribute, but at the same time, we didn't get a win."