for this game

James, Cavs put away Bobcats early

Dec 7, 2008 - 3:51 AM By Derek Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- LeBron James scored 25 points in just over 27 minutes as the Cleveland Cavaliers secured their eighth straight win, a 94-74 rout of the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday.

James added five rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks for the Cavaliers, who have won 16 of their last 17 games since dropping two of three to start the season.

"We did it once again tonight," James said. "We were able to get out there and get some easy buckets early. It was another big win for us."

Cleveland limited Charlotte to just 36 percent (25-of-69) shooting and forced 18 turnovers to continue its success this season.

James and company have won by an average of 21.8 points during their winning streak while holding opponents to just 82.2 points per game in their last six games. The Cavaliers set an NBA record with their eighth straight win by at least 12 points.

"This is the toughest league to be a part of," James said. "We're not going out there trying to blow people out. It just so happens that we've built big leads and kept them. It's a credit to Mike Brown and the coaching staff and to us for executing the gameplans."

James, who has averaged 26.6 points, got back on track against Charlotte after scoring just 11 points in a win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night and could have added more, but Brown rested the All-Star for the entire fourth quarter.

The Cavaliers jumped out early and never looked back.

After scoring the first seven points of the game, Cleveland continued its stellar play and used a pair of free throws from Daniel Gibson en route to a 30-12 lead late in the first quarter.

D.J. Augustin keyed an 8-3 run to start the second for Charlotte's lone bright spot of the night. Cleveland answered right back with James scoring the last six points in a 12-4 run, which pushed the lead back to 17 points.

James added seven more to close the half as Cleveland hit the mid-point of the game up by 20.

"I liked the intensity and how it carried throughout most of the game," Brown said. "I thought our focus was right where it needed to be coming out the way we did."

The Cavaliers held the Bobcats to just 13 points in the third period and led by 26 thanks to Wally Szczerbiak's 3-pointer as the third quarter came to a close.

Coach Brown chose to rest all his starters in the fourth quarter and got a total of 47 points off the bench.

"These guys prepare us to come out and play every day," James said of the reserves. "We go up and down with those guys every day and they make us work hard at pracitce. We take pride on trying to build big leads in the fourth quarter so they can get an opportunity to show what they can do also.

"It was good to see them out there in the fourth."

Alexis Ajinca's free throw with 58.6 seconds left pulled the Bobcats within 17, but Charlotte never was able to muster a comeback as the Cavaliers led by as many as 28 in the final period.

It was a busy day for James, who - along with teammate J.J. Hickson - watched as Davidson star Stephen Curry poured in 44 points in a win over N.C. State at Time Warner Cable Arena - also the home of the Bobcats.

Augustin scored 17 points and Raymond Felton added 15 for Charlotte.

"I told our team before the game this would be a good kind of gauge of how far we've come because we played them in the first game," Charlotte Coach Larry Brown said. "And I think we were all kind of disappointed."

Gibson was the only other member of the Cavaliers to join James in double figures with a 21-point effort.