James scores 24 as Cavaliers down WarriorsNov 7, 2007 - 7:47 AM By Ryan Leong PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers helped continue the Golden State Warriors' miserable start to the season.
James collected 24 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists and Daniel Gibson added 22 points as the Cavaliers defeated the Warriors, 108-104, on Tuesday night.
Baron Davis had 29 points and 10 assists for Golden State, which has lost its first four games of the season after shocking the league with an upset of the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs last season.
"We still don't have that rhythm that we had last year," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "We just can't seem to get everyone on the same level at the same time."
With the game tied at 98-98 with three minutes left, Damon Jones hit a 3-pointer, and the Cavaliers would not relinquish the lead.
"Whenever you can get a win on the road, it builds character," Jones said. "The last couple of years we haven't fared too well in our first West Coast road trip. To get a win here in a tough building, a tough atmosphere is going to prove big for us, not just tonight, but down the road."
After the teams exchanged two free throws apiece, Warriors center Andris Biedrins capitalized on James' turnover and connected on a hook shot to cut the deficit to 103-102.
Gibson helped seal the game by knocking down his fifth 3-pointer of the night to give Cleveland a 106-102 advantage with 20 seconds left.
"LeBron invited a double-team, and he threw it back to 'Z' (Zydrunas Ilgauskas) and he didn't hesitate because Gibson's guy came over to him," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "He swings it right away like he's supposed to, and Gibson made him pay."
James had a great night, despite having to leave the game and go to the locker room in the first quarter.
With 4:31 remaining in the opening period, Mickael Pietrus missed a shot from the arc. Attempting to go for the rebound, Biedrins inadvertently backhanded James in the face.
James ended up suffering a cut over his left eye and had to leave the game for treatment. He would return with 2:59 remaining the first period.
"It was a challenge," James said. "(The injury) was bothering me now and it was bothering me throughout the game, but I need to be out there for my teammates. If I can barely see, if I've got the other eye, I'm going to be out there for them and it was a great team win for us."
Cleveland jumped out to an early lead and was ahead by as many as 10 points in the opening quarter.
Following a long jumper from the wing by Monta Ellis, the Warriors only trailed by one point. A pair of free throws by Ellis gave the Warriors their first lead since scoring the game's first point with 9:18 to play in the second quarter.
Ellis scored 14 of the Warriors' 31 points in the quarter. Golden State held its own on the glass in the first half as Cleveland had a 23-20 edge in rebounding and the score was tied at 54-54 at the break.
In the third quarter, Al Harrington brought the crowd to its feet with a lefthanded slam dunk over James.
Following a timeout, rookie Brandan Wright made his NBA debut with 7:14 to play. Wright was the No. 8 pick in the draft and came to Golden State from Charlotte in a trade for Jason Richardson.
"It was a relief, just to finally get out there in a regular season game," Wright said. "I plan on contributing a lot to this game this season. We are going to need a lot of help rebounding and playing defense, so I'm excited about the future."
James would make up for being posterized by blocking a shot and then making a jumper at the other end of the floor. Gooden added a jump shot from the top of the key and the Cavs took a 73-68 advantage.
After a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer by Devin Brown, Cleveland once again had a 10-point lead.
A pair of 3-pointers by Davis and Ellis in the final 35 seconds of the third quarter gave Golden State an 81-80 edge entering the final period.
The Warriors, as has been their custom with a small lineup, relied on 3-point shooting, making 8-of-24 from the arc.
"We actually played pretty good this game," Biedrins said. "This is the best game we have played yet, but we just weren't lucky at the end of the game. We couldn't make a couple of shots, and that's why we lost. But we still had a chance to win the game."
Ellis scored 22 points off the bench and Harrington added 19 points for Golden State.
"I felt we were playing good basketball and, at one point, we had the game under control, then a couple of bad breaks defensively," Davis said. "It's a tough loss, but it was a great NBA game. That's what NBA is all about. We're young and we keep trying to figure it out. We need everybody on the same page and we need to gel."
GOLDEN STATE 104 FINAL
Nov 7 1:03 AM
GOLDEN STATE 81 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 7 12:29 AM
NBA CLEVELAND 54
GOLDEN STATE 54 HALFTIME
Nov 6 11:41 PM
GOLDEN STATE 23 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 6 11:09 PM
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