Cavaliers jolt Warriors on James' jumperJan 24, 2009 - 7:35 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- LeBron James hit a step-back, 19-foot jumper as time expired to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a 106-105 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday.
James scored a game-high 32 points for the Cavaliers and his shot marked the second straight game the Warriors lost at the end of regulation. On Wednesday, Jeff Green hit an 18-foot shot to give the Oklahoma City Thunder a win over Golden State.
"It's a great feeling, especially when you get it like that and then you hear the horn and the shot goes in," James said. "And there's no way they can try to make a comeback at us, its a great feeling. I wish everyone could get that type of feeling, it's unbelievable."
Stephen Jackson scored 24 points and Corey Maggette added 23 off the bench for Golden State, which fell to 3-3 on a season-long, seven-game homestand.
"I'll take that shot from LeBron," Jackson said. "But we played well with the first game with Monta (Ellis) back. It shows the signs of how we can be and how good this team can be. It was a tough loss, but LeBron made a lot of great plays. And as leader he did what he needed to do for his team to get the win."
Monta Ellis made his long-awaited season debut for Golden State after recovering from a moped accident in the offseason and sitting out a team-imposed suspension. He scored 20 points in 34 minutes.
"I felt great," Ellis said. "It was a good game. It went down to the end and great players make great shots at the end of the game. I didn't expect anything. I just wanted to go out there and play basketball and help us do whatever I can to help us win and I felt good out there."
Ellis missed 43 games after having left ankle surgery. He was suspended 30 games without pay (roughly $3 million) for violating the terms of his $66 million, six-year contract that he signed over the summer.
Ellis made his first shot attempt, a nine-foot floating jumper with 10:06 remaining in the first quarter. He later made another fadeaway, drawing contact for a three-point play and would finish with six points in 11 minutes.
In the fourth quarter, Ellis drove through the lane for a one-handed jam with 6:54 remaining and a thunderous ovation from the crowd as the Warriors took a one-point lead.
"I felt I did good but I've been out so long, part of my game is still rusty," Ellis said. "Overall, it was a great game and that's the first one, now we move on. It would have been nice if we got the win."
Down by four, James stole the ball and made a layup but Jackson split a pair of free throws to make it a three-point edge.
Andris Biedrins corralled a rebound but turned it over to James, whose layup put Cleveland back up by one with just over two minutes remaining.
On the ensuing possession, James had a short jumper blocked and Ellis completed a fast-break layup at the other end for another lead change.
It was short-lived as Daniel Gibson's 3-pointer gave the Cavs a 99-97 lead. Ellis made a pair of free throws to knot the game with just over a minute to play.
Two more from the line by Jackson and it was a two-point edge for Golden State, but Mo Williams made a wide-open, 3-pointer from the left baseline and the Cavs again were up by one. Jackson answered with a step back midrange jumper.
Instead of letting James drive the paint, Biedrins fouled him and James made both free throws with 22.7 seconds remaining.
Jackson took the ball from Ellis on the next play and waited till the game clock was at 6.4 and made an awkward 22-foot jumper to give the Warriors a 105-104 lead.
On the final play, the Warriors intended to switch defensively and have Jackson guard James. Instead, there was no pick and Ronny Turiaf guarded James who would make the game winning shot from the left wing as time expired.
"Right before they took the ball out of bounds they had inverted," James said. "And Jack (Jackson) knew I was going to come to the top of the floor so Coach Brown told me to pop the corner if they were going to do that and I was going to have a big on me so I did that and an unbelievable draw there by coach and a great shot by myself."
GOLDEN STATE 105 FINAL
Jan 24 1:15 AM
GOLDEN STATE 81 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 24 12:34 AM
GOLDEN STATE 54 HALFTIME
Jan 23 11:48 PM
GOLDEN STATE 26 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 23 11:09 PM
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