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LeBron takes over in fourth to lead Cavaliers over Bucks

Nov 30, 2008 - 6:16 AM By Dave Cotey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Even the return of Michael Redd could not cool down the red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers.

LeBron James scored 32 points - including 14 in the fourth quarter - and Zydrunas Ilgauskas set season highs with 23 with 17 rebounds as the Cavaliers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 97-85, on Saturday. The win was the Cavaliers' fifth straight and 13th in their last 14 games.

"As the game went along, he got more and more aggressive and started attacking and everybody responded to that," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said.

Redd scored 20 off the bench for the Bucks, who lost their fourth straight game. The All-Star guard had been sidelined since November 2 with a right ankle sprain.

Richard Jefferson added 19 for Milwaukee, which went 5-9 without Redd, its leading scorer.

The Bucks closed within two points multiple times in the final quarter but could not overtake the Cavaliers, who led throughout.

Luke Ridnour hit a 3-pointer with 6:36 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut Cleveland's lead to 79-77, but Cavaliers guard Sasha Pavlovic responded with a wide-open 3-pointer of his own.

James took over when he needed, scoring 11 straight points for the Cavaliers to turn a three-point lead into a double-digit advantage. His 21-footer with 2:20 left in the game extended the lead to 93-81 and the Bucks could not recover.

"We got close again," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "A couple key moments, we took a couple of bad shots, and LeBron came down and hit some big shots for them. As all great players do, he has a sense of timing of when to take games over."

Ilgauskas took advantage of the absence of Milwaukee's leading rebounder and shot-blocker, center Andrew Bogut, who missed his third consecutive game because of a bruised left knee. The Cleveland big man hit a number of short jumpers and controlled the boards.

"As a team we didn't shoot the ball well, but defensively, we played real well," Ilgauskas said. "Rebounding-wise, the numbers have not been that good, but today, there were a lot of misses that resulted in a lot of rebounds that went over their heads. It was huge because they had a hard time playing defensive over and over and over again."

Ben Wallace added 10 rebounds for Cleveland, which outrebounded Milwaukee, 53-38 - including 19-7 on the offensive glass.

"Ben and 'Z' were extremely active on the offensive glass, and we needed it the way we shot the ball tonight," Brown said. "Their presence on the offensive glass was huge against this team, especially with those guys short-handed without Bogut."

Cleveland point guard Mo Williams, in his first trip to Milwaukee since being traded by the Bucks during the offseason, had 13 points but shot just 6-of-20. He spent four seasons with the Bucks, primarily as their starting point guard.

The Bucks, who trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, closed to within 69-67 late in the third quarter. Ridnour had 10 points and Redd added eight in the period.

"It was a blur," Redd said of his return to the lineup. "I was just glad to be back out there tonight trying to help my team in any capacity to win a game."

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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Cavaliers 97, Bucks 85  FinalNov 30 3:55 AM

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    Cavaliers 91, Bucks 81  4th - 2:56Nov 29 11:17 PM
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    Cavaliers 79, Bucks 77  4th - 5:52Nov 29 11:05 PM

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