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Brown's two free throws help Cavs nip Sixers

Apr 15, 2008 - 4:05 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Devin Brown hit two free throws with two-tenths of a second remaining to help the Cleveland Cavaliers clinch the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with Monday's controversial 91-90 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

LeBron James scored 27 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 22 for Cleveland, which will have home-court advantage through the first round of the playoffs.

In the fourth quarter, rookie Thaddeus Young's tough layup gave the Sixers an 86-85 advantage with 1:06 remaining. Following a timeout, James found Ilgauskas in the paint out of a double-team for layup just 21 seconds later.

Louis Williams and Brown exchanged soft floaters in the lane as the Cavs remained ahead, 87-86. But Williams came up huge again with a jumper over Daniel Gibson with five seconds left to put the 76ers back on top by one.

Cleveland had one last opportunity to pull it out, but James' driving layup was blocked by Samuel Dalembert apparently lifting the Sixers to victory.

However, Dalembert was whistled for a foul on Brown with just two-tenths left on the clock after game officials reviewed the replay, allowing Brown to hit the go-ahead free throws.

"At the end of periods, you can review field-goal attempts and fouls that occur prior to the end of the period," Referee Greg Willard said. "Once we conference together and realized that a foul occurred, we are mandated to review regardless."

"I don't know what happened, all I know is that I have to live with the decision that they made," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "The officials have a tough job. They have to make a split decision at that time. Unfortunately for us, it didn't go our way."

With a lot riding on his free throws, Brown just focused on his routine.

"You have to stay with your free-throw routine," Brown said. "On the first one, I was just wanted to make sure that I got air under it. It was just like hitting the perfect tee shot."

"Just shooting the free throws by itself was a huge thing," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "But to do it after a big delay, it's big. It's big-time confidence in himself, and I'm happy for him."

Andre Miller scored 26 points and Williams chipped in 21 off the bench as the Sixers (40-41) dropped to the seventh spot in the East with the loss.

Philadelphia now has lost three straight games, allowing Toronto (41-40) to lock up the sixth spot and avoid facing the Detroit Pistons in the opening round.