Cavaliers
Grizzlies
132 - 124 Final - OT
  for this game

James' huge night powers Cavaliers past Grizzlies

Jan 16, 2008 - 5:15 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- LeBron James does not mind putting in overtime.

James scored 25 of his season-high 51 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to power the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 132-124 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

Daniel Gibson scored 18 points off the bench and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 14 for Cleveland, which was coming off a 113-106 double-overtime win over Charlotte on Friday.

James led the way with 31 points and a season-high 19 rebounds in that win. In this one, he was even better.

"Games are won in the fourth quarter," James said. "That's when my team looks to me to make plays. I don't feel pressure. I just try to go out there and make the best plays for our team."

The 23-year-old James tied Denver's Allen Iverson for the highest scoring output this season. Iverson scored 51 on December 5 in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

"They were not as aggressive (with double-teams) as I thought they would be or as other teams have been," James said. "When that happens, I get the opportunity to play 1-on-1. I was able to read the defense to see what they were doing, and then I countered."

But the biggest play for the league's leading scorer wasn't even a shot.

With the Cavaliers holding a 121-119 lead, James found Anderson Varejao under the basket for a layup and foul. Varejao converted the three-point play, and Gibson hit a pair of free throws to stretch the lead to 126-119 and effectively end the game with 1:19 remaining in the extra period.

"LeBron made some timely passes at the end of the shot clock tonight," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "When he gets in rhythm he makes great decisions for us."

James, who also finished with nine assists and eight rebounds, was too much for the young Grizzlies.

Mike Conley Jr., the fourth overall pick in last June's draft, finished with season highs of 20 points and seven assists.

Rudy Gay scored 30 points and Juan Carlos Navarro added 26, including the game-tying 3-pointer in regulation, but they could not prevent Memphis from dropping its fifth straight.

"(LeBron) is a guy who draws so much attention," Gay said. "He makes other guys around him much better. He's going to get his shots, but he's a guy who makes sure his other guys get their shots, too."

"It's tough to lose these types of games by just a few possessions," Conley said. "We fought hard getting the game to overtime. We came out so well at the beginning of overtime, but they just kept coming at us hard and got a few bounces to go their way."

With Cleveland leading by three points and just 14 seconds left in regulation, Damon Jones had a chance to seal the win but missed the second of two free throws.

That opened the door for Navarro to tie the game with his sixth 3-pointer. After a timeout, Navarro took a pass from Mike Miller and drilled that shot from the arc to tie the game at 113-113 with 10 seconds left.

James had a chance to win the game in regulation, but his fadeaway from the right baseline hit off the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded.