72 - 88 Final
  for this game

James, Cavaliers win 11th straight, tie franchise mark

Dec 13, 2008 - 8:25 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- When it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers, it's all about LeBron James. The superstar forward, however, sees his team's success otherwise.

James scored 28 points as the Cavaliers tied the longest winning streak in franchise history with their llth straight triumph, an 88-72 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

James added seven rebounds and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who swept a home-and-home series with the 76ers despite playing without center Zydrunas Ilgauskas and guard Daniel Gibson in this one.

"Anytime you have key guys out, it takes a while to get adjusted," James said. "Guys stepped up."

Yeah, but what about you, LeBron?

"Once again, Andy (Varejao) stepped up; Darnell (Jackson) gave us some big minutes off the bench," said James, whose team received 47 points from its other starters and some yeoman's work from the bench.

"Tarence (Kinsey) and Sasha (Pavlovic) came in and gave us some big minutes, and it was good to see that."

James wasn't much for self-promotion, but his squad's success speaks for itself.

Cleveland won 11 straight four other times - the last occasion coming in 1993-94, when it eventually was swept out of the playoffs by the Chicago Bulls.

Ironically, the perennially snake-bitten Cavaliers also reeled off 11 in a row in 1988-89, a season that Michael Jordan famously ended with his cold-blooded, series-clinching shot over Craig Ehlo in the first round of the playoffs.

This campaign, James' Cavaliers (20-3) are the juggernaut squad, improving their record to 13-0 at home.

They have done it in especially dominating fashion, trouncing teams by an average of more than 20 points without trailing in the second half during the impressive streak.

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown attributed his team's latest win to its trademark this season - stifling defense.

"I thought it was a good effort by our guys to hold an explosive team like that to 47 points in the last three quarters," the coach said. "It was pretty impressive, and a nice defensive effort.

"(Philadelphia) has athleticism, length and the ability to score and they can give us trouble, especially when they get out in the open floor."

Willie Green scored 19 points for the Sixers, who have played the Cavaliers the closest, forcing James to play in the fourth quarter in both of their recent losses.

The superstar forward, who entered the game averaging barely 35.0 minutes, has made a practice of sitting out with the game in hand in the final period.

"That's an attribute to our depth," Brown said of his team's success without its best player on the court. "Guys just keep themselves ready, guys defend together and they share the basketball on that end of the floor. When you have that and you have some seasoned veterans, you're able to get some wins.

"You're able to get some wins when you have a guy like LeBron averaging 35 minutes a game, because we don't miss a beat with the guys coming off the bench. That's just another positive that this team has shown early on in the season."

After helping the United States win the gold medal at the Olympics this past summer, James has had a chance to rest and watch his teammates finish off nearly every opponent en route to 19 wins in 20 games.

In fact, the Cavaliers' last loss came against the Detroit Pistons on November 19 - a game which they led by 11 points at halftime.

Cleveland took a 13-point advantage into the break Friday, outscoring Philadelphia, 27-14, in the second quarter to take control of the game.

"In the first quarter, we scored 25 points, and I thought our offense was good and our defense was good," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "They (Cavs) just keep coming. We had some turnovers, and we ended up with 20 turnovers, and you can't afford to have the turnovers that we had.

"They (Cavs) keep pushing the ball and they just keep coming. I liked their game in the first half."

James, who had 16 points, five assists and five rebounds at intermission, kept his club alive in the third by scoring 10 of Cleveland's 17 points. Delonte West netted the other seven as the Cavaliers took a 69-58 lead entering the fourth.

The reigning scoring champion, James played in the final period for the second time in five games but did not need to do much. He fed Pavlovic for a 3-pointer to make it 77-62 with 6:09 left as the Cavaliers never looked back.

Andre Iguodala scored 16 points and Elton Brand added 11 and 11 rebounds for the Sixers, who fell to the Cavs, 101-93, on Wednesday and now have lost three straight.

"(The Cavs) do a good job of communicating with each other," Iguodala said. "They know what they are going to do and they have all situations covered. Everybody does a good job of covering their end of it, so they do a good job of communicating with each other."

  • 15
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    76ers 72, Cavaliers 88  FinalDec 13 6:20 AM
  • 5
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    76ers 72, Cavaliers 88  FinalDec 13 2:40 AM

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