for this game

New-look Cavaliers rout lowly Grizzlies

Feb 25, 2008 - 2:51 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- So far, so good.

The new-look Cleveland Cavaliers played with energy and enthusiasm as they crushed the lowly Memphis Grizzlies, 109-89, on Sunday.

LeBron James had his usual with 25 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists. Zydrunas Ilgauskas had a double-double in the first half and finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

Having been the middleman in last Thursday's blockbuster three-team, 11-player trade which brought Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, and Joe Smith to Cleveland, the Cavaliers' organization introduced its new faces to a sellout crowd of 20,562.

"It was the first time in a long time that I got cheers from the crowd," Smith said. "I had goose bumps throughout my body."

Cleveland's first unit jumped out to a 32-13 lead after one quarter and the lead was double figures the rest of the way. The biggest ovation came when West fed James for an alley-oop dunk at the 8:01 mark.

"The energy was unbelievable and I know those guys fed off the energy," James said. "It was exciting to be out on the floor with them."

There were the expected miscommunications and several turnovers due in large part to unfamiliarity, but the end result was encouraging for a team which had been mulling along at 30-24 before the trade.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "Tomorrow's practice is going to be big for us because we can't afford to waste a day in trying to get better."

Three of the four new guys hit for double figures in their Cleveland debuts - save for West, who had five points and six assists.

"It was a lot of fun," Szczerbiak said. "The crowd was amazing, 20,000-plus. It's nice to be playing in front of a crowd like that again. It's be a while."

Wallace logged a double-double late in the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds and forced a five-second count when guarding Memphis point guard Kyle Lowry.

"We're going through tough times as a team of course, but having to play against some of the better players each and every night, especially with new trades going around and guys wanting to do well with their new teams, it's tough to be that team," Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said.

Memphis, which lost its 12th straight road game, was without Mike Miller (back). Hakim Warrick paced the Grizzlies with 21 points while Rudy Gay added 19 points.

"We won the second half. I thought was a good effort by us," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "(Cleveland) obviously came in with more energy. And who knows? Maybe playing in front of that big crowd got us a little bit early."

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