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James scores 41 again; Cavs top Bucks

Nov 12, 2008 - 4:55 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- When his jump shot is going down, LeBron James is practically unstoppable.

"King James" got hot from the perimeter and scored 24 of his 41 points in the second half, as the Cleveland Cavaliers topped the Milwaukee Bucks, 99-93, on Tuesday.

Cleveland has won five straight for the first time since last January thanks to James, who notched his third 41-point game in his last four outings, and chipped in five rebounds and six assists.

James shot 16-of-24 from the floor while playing a season-high 43 minutes. Still, James wasn't particularly happy with the team's performance overall.

"We really had to will this win because we didn't play our best game," James said.

Mo Williams, who was acquired from Milwaukee in the offseason, scored 16 points in his first game against his former team.

"Bron was Bron," Williams said of James. "We expect him to do great things but, as teammates, we have to come through for him, too."

Williams admitted that he wasn't "overly hyped" to play the Bucks.

"I would have felt a whole lot worse if we had lost," he said.

Richard Jefferson scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter for the Bucks, who have lost three straight and were without star guard Michael Redd (ankle) for a fourth consecutive contest.

"We're still playing shorthanded, but we're still having opportunities in games," Jefferson said. "So, if you're putting yourself in the position, you're obviously doing something right for the bulk of the game."

Redd's presence may not have not mattered the way James - the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week - has been playing. Every time the Bucks tried to close the gap, James answered.

"He had 41 and made it look easy," Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. "We tried switching a little bit. We played two or three people on him. My only real complaint, I guess, would be that we're still not aggressive enough on someone like that."

His players contest they were, but James was nearly unstoppable.

"We had a hand in his face, there's not a lot you can do," said Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds. "He hit a lot of tough shots."

Jefferson, for his part, took full accountability for the team's inability to stop James.

"I didn't do a very good job defensively," he said.

Jefferson's layup pulled Milwaukee to within 84-80 with 7:45 left, but James scored eight points during a 10-3 run that helped give the Cavaliers some breathing room.

James' layup made it an 11-point game at 94-83 with 3:03 left, and the Bucks never got closer than nine points the rest of the way. The Cavaliers had just one turnover in the second half.

The Bucks held a 45-36 advantage on the boards and used 7-of-16 shooting from 3-point range to stay in the game. Milwaukee went on a 15-6 run to take a 69-66 lead late in third quarter, but James hit three straight jumpers to give Cleveland a 74-71 lead heading to the final period.

James scored 17 points in the first half, and the Cavaliers held the Bucks to 31 percent (11-of-35) from the floor en route to a 48-42 edge after two periods.