Celtics
Cavaliers
104 - 109 Final - OT
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James leads Cavaliers over Celtics in overtime

Nov 28, 2007 - 5:01 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- LeBron James single-handedly trumped the Boston Celtics' superstar trio.

James collected 38 points and 13 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers clamped down defensively in the extra period en route to their fourth straight win, an 109-104 overtime victory over the Celtics on Tuesday night.

In clutch fashion, James netted 11 points in the overtime for the Cavaliers, who outscored the Celtics, 17-12, during that five-minute span to secure the victory.

"We don't want any 'Big Three,'" James said. "We just go out there and do our job. I think Drew (Gooden) and (Zydrunas Ilgauskas) have done a great job controlling the interior this year. It's November and there are no statement wins in November."

James, who had notched triple-doubles in his last two games against Toronto and Indiana, had the crowd chanting "MVP" as he was icing the game with free throws in the waning seconds of overtime.

Still, James and the Cavaliers were lucky to be in the position to win it in the extra period.

With the score tied at 92-92 with 23.1 seconds left in regulation, a dubious reach-in foul was called on Cavaliers swingman Sasha Pavlovic, who seemed to knock the dribble away from Celtics sharpshooter Ray Allen.

But Allen - a career 89 percent foul shooter - misfired on both free throws and the Cavaliers corralled the rebound and called a timeout with 22 ticks left.

"I feel like I let the team down," Allen said. "I was so surprised I missed the first one because it just hit, and it caught me by (surprise) and I didn't let that go, and I took it into the second one."

On the ensuing possession, James was guarded by Celtics swingman Paul Pierce but chose to dribble the clock down to six seconds before starting his offensive move. He settled for a contested jumper from the right elbow that was short with three seconds left and time expired as the long rebound bounced away.

"(James) had a decent look from 15 feet and, with the way he's been shooting the basketball, it's a good shot," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "We're going to live and die with him because he's won many ballgames for us."

Gooden collected 24 points and 13 rebounds and Ilgauskas added 15 and 14 for Cleveland, which outrebounded Boston, 47-40.

"There was a lot of trash-talking out there," Gooden said. "But, it's fun. It was like an old streetball game, really."

"The Big Three" for the Celtics combined for 64 points, highlighted by Allen, who netted 29 on 10-of-25 shooting - including 5-of-12 on 3-pointers. Kevin Garnett added 19 points and Pierce had 16.

However, Boston coach Doc Rivers was not impressed with the his star-studded squad.

"Execution was not very good on our part," Rivers said. "Didn't get the ball where we were trying to get the ball. So, that was the disappointing part for me. Got a three-point lead, and go for the gamble steal, which leads to a three and tied the score."

"We have to do a better job of going to Option B and Option C, and we didn't do that tonight," Pierce said. "We knew we had our chance to win it in regulation and we let it slip away, and they got us in overtime."

Allen's performance came three days after nailing a buzzer-beating shot from the arc to down the Charlotte Bobcats for Boston, which had its three-game winning streak snapped en route to just its second loss of the season.

"We stole one the other day," Rivers said. "This one, we had a chance to win it and we kind of gave it back."