Cavaliers surge past PacersNov 8, 2008 - 4:28 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- The theme for Cleveland coming out of last season was to find some help for LeBron James.
"The King" had plenty of helpers in a decisive fourth quarter that rallied the Cavaliers past the Indiana Pacers, 111-107, on Friday.
Cleveland scored 40 points in the fourth quarter and James had a huge block on T.J. Ford with 39 seconds left to seal the win.
"I don't even know where he started from but, to run that man down, who in his own right was quick himself, and make a block like that at that time of the game was phenomenal," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said.
Six Cavaliers scored in double figures. Anderson Varejao struck for 10 of his career-high 18 points in the final quarter. Mo Williams and Wally Szczerbiak scored 10 and seven fourth-quarter points, respectively, as the Cavaliers won their third straight game.
"We have a big goal in mind, and that's to win a championship," Williams said. "To win a championship, you've got to win games like this when you aren't playing so well and have to find a way to win."
After a seven-point first half, James finished with 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Williams scored 21 points and Szczerbiak added 11. Varejao also had eight rebounds and three steals.
"I knew I wasn't playing my best game," James said. "But I knew I had enough energy to jump start us."
Danny Granger pumped in 33 points and kept the Pacers in the game, matching a 3-pointer by James and bringing Indiana to within four late.
"We shot 11 foul shots, they shot 28. With a very physical game and a team that takes it to the rack as much as we do and to only get to the foul line 11 times, I just shake my head. Incredible, absolutely incredible," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said.
The Pacers were relentless on the glass, collecting 19 offensive rebounds, and outrebounding the Cavaliers, 44-30. It marked the first time in six games Cleveland was beaten on the boards.
After Travis Diener buried a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 79-72 lead at 11:25 of the fourth, Varejao sparked Cleveland with six quick points that trimmed Indiana's margin to 82-79 with 9:51 left.
Varejao's flurry was highlighted by a steal and coast-to-coast dunk.
"We didn't take care of the ball," Pacers guard Jarrett Jack said. "Then LeBron got on a roll in the second half and became too tough to stop."
Cleveland scored 26 points on 24 Indiana turnovers.
"There was one stretch in the fourth quarter where their crowd really got into it, and we turned the ball over two, three, four times in a row," Granger said.
Indiana led 57-48 when James broke out of a dry spell with 11 of Cleveland's next 16 points, giving the Cavaliers a 64-63 lead at 4:42 of the third quarter.
CLEVELAND 111 FINAL
Nov 7 9:59 PM
CLEVELAND 71 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 7 9:21 PM
CLEVELAND 43 HALFTIME
Nov 7 8:39 PM
CLEVELAND 20 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 7 8:08 PM
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