for this game

Cavaliers stay perfect at home, crush Warriors

Nov 29, 2008 - 4:14 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- LeBron James had 23 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers outscored the Golden State Warriors by 20 in the third quarter en route to a 112-97 win on Friday.

The Cavaliers, now 9-0 at home and 13-3 overall, improved upon the best start in franchise history. Cleveland has won 12 of its last 13 - including four straight - and ran its record to 5-1 against Western Conference opponents.

"I'm not going to allow this team to relax," James said.

Playing its fourth game on a five-game road trip, Golden State lost its fifth straight after a 5-6 start.

The Warriors came in yielding opponents a league-high 14.4 offensive rebounds per game and a second-worst 107 points per game.

Cleveland's defensive mantra was put to the test as Golden State tried to run and gun, but wound up shooting 40 percent (33-83) from the field and enduring a miserable third quarter.

"(Golden State) plays a funky style of basketball that we're not quite used to," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "In the third quarter, we locked defensively and tried to make them work for everything."

The Cavaliers led by as many as 26 points in the period before clearing the bench.

"The last three or four games, we've been chillin' in the fourth quarter," Cavaliers guard Mo Williams said. "It's huge for us to do that, playing four games in five nights."

James, who played 17 minutes in Wednesday's romp of Oklahoma City, played just 31 minutes and collected 16 of his 23 points in the first half to go along with seven rebounds and eight assists.

Golden State led 12-2 out of the chute, and after Cleveland fought back to tie 29-29, the Warriors led 32-29 after the first on a 3-pointer by Jamal Crawford.

"I think we were running that turkey out at the start," Williams said.

The Cavaliers took their first lead of the game, 42-41, at 6:09 of the second quarter on a windmill dunk by James.

In the final minute of the half, Ben Wallace kept a Cleveland possession alive with three offensive rebounds, resulting in two free throws by Delonte West at 28 seconds and a 58-52 Cavs lead.

"I like how we're winning on the defensive end," Wallace said. "When we get our defense set, we're hard to score against."

The Cavs shot 47 percent (43-92) from the floor and pounded the Warriors in the paint 32-16.

The Cavaliers outscored the Warriors 20-7 to start the third quarter and led 78-59 when James split two free throws at 4:20.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting and has scored in double figures in each game this season.

Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson each had 16 for Cleveland.

"The one good thing that happened for us tonight is that we got to rest our (starters) in the fourth quarter," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "The ball movement wasn't crisp, we had too many turnovers, and we didn't rebound."

C.J. Watson led Golden State with 17 points off the bench. Crawford had 12 of his 15 points in the first half while Corey Maggette and Stephen Jackson each had 11.

"We didn't pass the ball. We share the ball and good things happen. When everybody's out there for self, we are not going to win like that," Jackson said. "We're always prepared to play. It's bringing the gameplan to the game. You can't keep saying, 'Let's get the next one.'"

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