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James rallies Cavaliers past Raptors

Jan 6, 2008 - 10:47 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers were sleep-walking their way through a listless performance, so LeBron James decided to take matters into his own hands.

James scored 24 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers rallied from an early 20-point deficit to defeat the Toronto Raptors, 93-90, on Sunday.

The Raptors took a 70-59 lead into the final quarter but could not control James in the final period.

"We made some big plays, and I was able to control the tempo in the fourth with my penetration," said James, who set a franchise mark for points in a quarter. "We did a good job defensively and finally got some stops."

The 23-year-old superstar hit 8-of-10 shots in the fourth quarter, including four 3-pointers. The Cavaliers took their first lead, 81-80, on James' 26-footer with four minutes remaining.

"He (James) just took the ballgame over and put us on his back," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "What a tremendous, tremendous performance by LeBron James in the fourth quarter."

James finished 14-of-29 from the field after making just five of his first 17 shots. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out eight assists.

"(James) started attacking the basket and knocking down outside shots and he really put everyone in amazement," said Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden, who recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

"It's hard to trap a guy past the 3-point line," Toronto forward Chris Bosh said of James. "He made two or three spot-up threes. When a guy is doing that, it makes it very tough."

Still, the Raptors were in control early, scoring the game's first seven points and opening a 35-15 lead on Bosh's dunk with 10:18 remaining in the first half.

Bosh scored 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting and Anthony Parker added 20 for the Raptors. Parker also grabbed nine rebounds.

"Early morning game, and we were slow to get it going," Gooden said of the 1 p.m. start.

James hit consecutive 3-pointers, pulling the Cavaliers within 75-68 with 9:07 remaining. Damon Jones followed with two straight 3-pointers before Cleveland tied the contest, 76-76, on James' jumper with 6:26 to play.

"I feel like I was just out there by myself," James added. "The hoop felt like the ocean."

The Raptors took their last lead, 80-78, on Bosh's layup with 4:30 remaining. James answered with two more 3-pointers, giving Cleveland an 84-80 lead with 3:20 to go.

"I thought AP (Parker) was guarding (James) well," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "He commands so much attention."

The Cavaliers (17-17) have won three straight and five of their last six to even their record at .500.

The Raptors, who beat Cleveland, 91-82, on November 30 when James was sidelined with a sprained index finger, lost for the sixth time in eight games.