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Cavailers pound Warriors without injured James

Jan 31, 2007 - 4:49 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- With leading scorer LeBron James sidelined by a sprained right big toe, the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled together.

Sasha Pavlovic scored a career-high 24 points, Donyell Marshall added 15 and Zydrunas Ilgauskas 14 with 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who had eight players in double figures in a 124-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

The league's seventh-best scorer (27.2), James enthusiastically watched from the bench as the Cavaliers won for 15th time in 17 home encounters against the Warriors and raised their home record to 16-6 this season.

"He (James) is our guy," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "So we have to cut harder. We have to screen better. We have to execute that much more. You have to rely more on the system we're trying to put in."

"LeBron's toe is probably something that's going to linger all year," Marshall said. "So depending on situations, we know we're going to need Sasha (Pavlovic). Tonight's game was huge."

Cleveland pulled away by closing the first quarter with a 19-4 run to take a 37-22 lead. Marshall opened the run with a layup and added a three-point play and Damon Jones hit a 3-pointer and a layup.

"I think earlier in the year, when (the bench) played well, our team was playing well and we were winning," Marshall said. "I think we know we have to step up. We have to do what we can to help this team."

Ilgauskas scored nine points, including six straight for the Cavaliers, and Pavlovic added eight in the second quarter to widen Cleveland's lead to 67-47 at halftime.

Golden State moved within 91-76 before Cleveland opened the fourth quarter with a 19-8 burst, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Pavlovic and David Wesley, for a 110-84 advantage with 6:31 remaining.

"We got tired of (the media) bashing us," said Cavaliers guard Damon Jones, who scored 10 points. "So, we went out there and played a great game on both ends of the floor. Hopefully now, we might get some credit."

Rookie Daniel Gibson started in place of point guard Eric Snow - whose streak of 127 consecutive starts ended - and scored 12 points.

"It's a dream come true," Gibson said. "When you are a little kid, you always imagine playing in the NBA one day and starting one day. ... It was a special moment. I had a couple of butterflies. I really haven't had butterflies like that in a long time."

Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes and Wesley added 11 points each for Cleveland, which set a season high in points.

Baron Davis scored 21 points and Al Harrington had 13 for the Warriors, who slipped to 4-16 on the road.

"For whatever reason, we didn't come to play," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "(I'm) very disappointed in our performance. ... Nobody played well. I don't know a player who played decently tonight. Usually you can anchor around somebody and we were all pretty bad."

"Playing on the road and winning on the road is the hardest thing," Davis said. "In order to be a playoff team, you've got to win on the road. ... So, who are we fooling? How are we going to be a playoff team and we can't win on the road. We're fooling ourselves."

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