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James, Cavaliers right ship vs. slumping Knicks

Mar 24, 2007 - 6:35 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- All LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers needed was a visit from the slumping New York Knicks.

James collected 21 points and 10 assists to lead four players in double figures as the Cavaliers snapped a two-game skid with a 90-68 victory over the sliding Knicks.

After a season-high eight-game winning streak, Cleveland suffered back-to-back defeats, including a 98-90 loss to league-leading Dallas on Wednesday. James was a one-man show in that contest as his teammates struggled throughout.

"(LeBron) was really aggressive in trying to attack the rim," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "He set the tone for us throughout most of the ballgame, and when he drove, he either got to the rim or found guys wide open for wide-open shots.

The Cavaliers were able to right the ship against shorthanded New York, which continued to play without forward David Lee (leg injuries), forward Quentin Richardson (back) and guard Jamal Crawford (ankle), who is out for the season.

"We just don't have the bodies," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "We were starting to peak at the right time and playing really good basketball. Defensively, we were kicking in. It's just frustrating right now because we just don't have the bodies and you know kind of where you would be right now."

The Knicks (30-39) now have lost eight of their last 10 games and are one game behind New Jersey (31-38) and 1 1/2 back of Indiana (31-37) and Orlando (32-38), who are battling for the final two playoff spots in the East.

"We're going to find ourselves on the outside looking in if we can't turn this thing around," New York center Eddy Curry said.

On Friday, James took advantage, shooting 8-of-16 from the field but did most of his damage as a playmaker. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Larry Hughes scored 16 points apiece and Donyell Marshall netted 10.

Curry had 27 points and nine rebounds but Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis combined for 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting for New York, which recorded a season low in points.

"I'm sure they're a little fatigued, I'm sure they're a little tired," Thomas said. "They've been logging and playing a lot of minutes."

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