for this game

LeBron gets more rest as Cavaliers pound Raptors

Dec 10, 2008 - 4:08 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- On a night when LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas broke franchise records, the Cleveland Cavaliers steamrolled the Toronto Raptors, 114-94, for their ninth straight win Tuesday.

Winners of 17 of their last 18, the Cavaliers (18-3) have overwhelmed their last nine opponents by an average margin of 21.6 points per game to become the first team in NBA history to win nine consecutive games by 12 or more points.

"It's unbelievable for our franchise to accomplish something like that," James said.

James surpassed Mark Price for the team's career steals mark with his 735th steal in the first minute of the contest. Ilgauskas topped Brad Daugherty's rebounding mark with his 5,228th career board late in the second quarter.

"It means a lot more to me knowing what 'Z' did, with all he's been through," James said. "After he's done, his jersey will be hanging in the rafters here in Cleveland."

Ilgauskas was drafted by the Cavaliers in the first round in 1996 and played in just 111 games in his first five seasons because of foot injuries.

"It's been a long road. I'll cherish it," Ilgauskas said.

James collected 31 points, including six slam-dunks and a pair of 3-pointers. He did all that in just 30 minutes, resting on the bench for the entirety of the fourth quarter.

"We're on the list of teams where LeBron doesn't even have to play in the fourth quarter," Raptors interim coach Jay Triano said. "They're running teams out. That's no consolation for us."

The NBA's reigning scoring champion has had little wear-and-tear on his 23-year-old legs during the last few weeks. Over the last nine games, James has surpassed the 40-minute mark just once. He averaged 40:23 per game last season. That hasn't slowed his production at all - he's just been getting the job done in much less time this campaign.

The Raptors (8-12), meanwhile, dropped their fifth game in a row, and fell to 0-3 under the recently appointed Triano. Cleveland scored 27 points off 19 turnovers by Toronto.

The Cavaliers have held their last seven opponents under 100 points.

Racing to a 13-point lead in the first quarter, it appeared the Cavaliers were on their way to another early knockout. Cleveland was tagged with three technical fouls in the second quarter, but the whistles only served as fuel for the onslaught to come.

"We handled it like a championship team," Cavaliers guard Mo Williams said.

"I didn't even have to say anything to them," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "They just police themselves and came out playing the right way in the second half."

The Raptors trailed, 59-51, at the half but were swallowed up by Cleveland's avalanche in the third quarter. After Andrea Bargnani hit a jumper to pull Toronto within 59-53, the Cavaliers unleashed a 23-2 run at sprinter's speed to go on top, 82-55. James and Williams each had seven points in the flurry.

"It's contagious. We just move the ball," Williams said.

Wally Szczerbiak scored 16 points off the bench while Williams and Ilgauskas each had 13 points for the Cavaliers.

Jose Calderon paced the Raptors with 14 points. Chris Bosh - who came in as the league's third-leading scorer at 25.7 points per game - was held to just nine points on 4-of-11 shooting but did snag 11 rebounds.

"You hit a wall every now and then as a collective group," Calderon said. "In my past few years, everybody just kind of hits a wall for a few games during the year. Let's be honest, the schedule is not helping us."

  • 20
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Raptors 94, Cavaliers 114  FinalDec 10 12:14 AM
  • 15
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Raptors 94, Cavaliers 114  FinalDec 9 11:15 PM

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