for this game

Cavaliers hang on to beat lowly Heat

Apr 14, 2008 - 2:03 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers woke up in the fourth quarter and overtook the lowly Miami Heat, 84-76, on Sunday.

Delonte West scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures and LeBron James added 13, 11 rebounds and seven assists to lead a balanced Cleveland attack.

The Cavaliers will play the Wizards in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year, and now need one more win or one Washington loss to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage.

"I wanted to play somebody else," James said.

Asked if he had read or heard the talk coming out of Washington, James replied, "I can only imagine. It'll be a third straight year of trash-talking with Washington."

Cleveland trailed by two entering the fourth and after Chris Quinn's free throw gave the Heat a three-point edge, Daniel Gibson ignited a 12-1 run, giving the Cavaliers a 69-61 lead with 7:15 left. Gibson's 3-pointer put the Cavaliers on top, 62-60, and he followed that with three free throws with 8:39 left.

"I relish these opportunities and want to get back to those moments," said Gibson, who is still not 100 percent since a high-ankle sprain on February 20 at Indiana.

Anderson Varejao scored six fourth-quarter points to help Cleveland extend its lead to 75-63 and, after Miami closed within five points late, West closed it out going 4-of-4 from the line.

Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field, but Cleveland held a 53-33 edge in rebounding.

"I thought we did a nice job on the boards," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "Both teams obviously missed a lot of shots. For us to outrebound them by 20 with both teams shooting in the 30s (percentage), we were active on the glass and limiting them to four offensive rebounds was huge."

After an eight-point first half, James took one shot from the floor and scored just two third-quarter points. "The King" did not return to the game until the 5:18 mark of the final period when Cleveland was up by eight points.

"It's tough (to get up for a team like Miami), especially this late in the season," James said. "The crowd expects you to blow them out."

James had plenty of help from the supporting cast as Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 14 points and 14 rebounds and Varejao and Devin Brown each chipped in 10 points to pace the Cavaliers.

Cleveland had led, 40-38, at the half, but former Cavaliers guard Ricky Davis drilled two 3-pointers in the third quarter as the Heat took a 50-47 lead with 6:25 to play.

Neither team held a lead bigger than four during the third quarter, but Miami took a 59-57 advantage on Quinn's layup with 10 seconds left before the fourth.

"We just went stone cold again in the fourth quarter," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "I thought we played extremely well. We just couldn't make enough shots. Same old story."

Davis scored 17 points and Earl Barron and rookie Daequan Cook each had 13 to pace the Heat, who lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

"We settled a little bit, shooting from the outside," Davis said. "They were good shots, but you need to get to the basket a little bit and get some easy baskets. They just turned it up a little bit and they got to the free-throw line a lot. That kind of hurt us right there, getting to the free throw line, giving them easy baskets."

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