Bucks
Cavaliers
96 - 109 Final
  for this game

James, Cavaliers clinch second place in East

Apr 19, 2007 - 3:55 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers had to wait until the last day of the season, but it was worth it.

James had 24 points and nine assists as the Cavaliers clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference with a 109-96 victory over the lowly Milwaukee Bucks in the regular-season finale for both.

Wednesday's win, coupled with New Jersey's triumph over Chicago, has Cleveland (50-32) facing injury-riddled Washington (41-41) in a rematch of last season's epic first-round seven-game series.

"We expected this. There was more excitement last season," James said of finishing among the elite in the East. "This year we expected to be there. It's all about the championship."

"(Washington) gave us trouble the last time we played them," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "We have to make sure we have the right mind-set and we are prepared for them."

Last year as a fourth seed, Cleveland defeated Washington in seven games in the opening-round series before falling to Detroit in the conference semifinal in another seven-game series.

"We feel confident no matter who we play," Cleveland forward Donyell Marshall said. "We have played each team in the conference, so we feel confident."

Brown became the fastest coach in franchise history to reach 100 wins, guiding the club to back-to-back 50-win seasons.

"The guys should feel proud of themselves for getting 50 again," Brown said. "The sky's the limit for this group. I don't think anyone is satisfied. But we should feel proud for having back-to-back 50-win seasons. That is tough to do in this league."

Sasha Pavlovic was in control in the opening quarter, netting 13 of his 21 points in helping Cleveland grab a 31-22 advantage.

Marshall made consecutive baskets with the shot clock expiring and James added a one-handed jam, capping an aggressive 13-0 surge to forge an 87-72 lead with 9:48 remaining.

"We took care of business," Brown said.

The Bucks never were able to rebound thereafter as they fell to 5-12 under coach Larry Krystkowiak, who took over for the fired Terry Stotts on March 14.

"I think we ran out of steam," Krystkowiak said. "We're looking at a real nice little reserve corps coming at us from the Cavs side. We were mismatched at most positions. It was rough."

Earl Boykins scored 28 points off the bench and Ruben Patterson added 19 for Milwaukee (28-54), which shot 44 percent (43-of-89) from the field and made 12-of-29 3-pointers.

Milwaukee looked like a young club on the rise after making the playoffs last season, but its 2006-07 campaign was marred by injuries to several key players, including sharpshooter Michael Redd (knee).








  • NBA
    MILWAUKEE 96
    CLEVELAND 109 FINAL

    Apr 18 9:24 PM


  • NBA
    MILWAUKEE 72
    CLEVELAND 79 END, 3RD QTR

    Apr 18 8:53 PM


  • NBA
    MILWAUKEE 51
    CLEVELAND 54 HALFTIME

    Apr 18 8:13 PM


  • NBA
    MILWAUKEE 22
    CLEVELAND 31 END, 1ST QTR

    Apr 18 7:37 PM