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James, Williams drive Cavs past Trail Blazers

Jan 22, 2009 - 6:49 AM By Daniel Cochran PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- LeBron James recorded 34 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers, 104-98, on Wednesday.

James imposed his will in the fourth quarter and led the Cavaliers to victory. He hit a 25-foot jumper to give Cleveland an 86-82 advantage.

"We never let one game hang over our heads, we kind of always bounce back, we hate to lose," said James, referring to Cleveland's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.

With a little over two minutes remaining, James worked a pick-and-roll with Mo Williams, feeding the guard for a shot beyond the arc that made it 95-88.

"Mo is an unbelievable player, we can knock down shots, and he creates plays for himself," James said.

Moments later, James drove the lane and again dished to Williams, who hit a jumper to make it an eight-point game at 98-90 and stifle the Blazers' hopes. Williams finished with 33 points.

"(Mo) stepped in and knocked down some 3s for us throughout the course of the game," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said.

"We played the game the right way, most of the game, on both ends of the floor. It was a pretty good effort."

Portland didn't go down quietly as Rudy Fernandez connected from long range to cut the deficit to five.

The Cavaliers had the answer at the other end as James connected for a two-point basket. He shot 14-of-30 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from long range.

A dunk by LaMarcus Aldridge and a 3-point basket by Brandon Roy sandwiched around a pair of free throws by Wally Szczerbiak made it 102-98.

Sergio Rodriguez fouled Williams with 16 seconds left and the guard drained both shots for the final margin.

"It was the story of the game. They got into a rhythm and we didn't do much to stop it," Roy said.

With Delonte West out for six weeks with a broken wrist, Williams stepped up. He hit 12-of-19 from the field, including 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. He played a huge part of what often became a two-man game for the Cavaliers.

Roy led Portland with 23 points, but was only 8-of-23 from the field.

"Brandon just had a lot of shots he usually makes not fall and Aldridge had some shots he usually knocks down. We needed a third guy to step up in situations like that," Portland coach Nate McMillan said.

"We got caught watching ... the scrap and the sense of urgency needs to happen."

Portland had an off-night from the field, hitting only 33-of-81 (41 percent) from the floor. They also connected on 7-of-22 3-point shots.

"I missed, I think, four layups that I should knock down," Roy said of his performance.

Aldridge added 20 points for the Blazers, but followed suit with the rest of the team, hitting at a 40-percent clip (8-of-20).