for this game

LeBron hits milestone as Cavs edge Raptors

Mar 22, 2008 - 6:58 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- LeBron James became the franchise's all-time leading scorer as the Cleveland Cavaliers toppled the Toronto Raptors, 90-83, on Friday.

James collected 29 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists in leading Cleveland to its ninth straight home win.

The King exploded for 23 second-half points as the Cavs erased a four-point deficit heading into the final quarter.

James entered the contest needing five points to pass Brad Daugherty's 10,389 career tally (548 games). At 4:11 of the first quarter, James converted a twisting layup for his sixth point to claim the record.

"The crazy thing about it is, he's 23," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "To get that franchise record now is ... amazing."

The game was stopped at 3:52 and James acknowledged a standing ovation. Even though he did not score in the second quarter and had only six points at the break, he said the moment was euphoric.

"It was one of the most unbelievable feelings I've had," James said. "Most of these fans have seen me when I was 13 as a freshman at St. V (St. Vincent-St. Mary High School) all the way now to 23 years old being in my fifth year in the NBA.

"I never set out to be the all-time scorer in franchise history. I just wanted to be the best player I could be every night and continue to get better."

In third quarter, James poured in 12 points but the Cavaliers went from a 45-42 lead at half to a 67-63 deficit after three.

Damon Jones drilled back-to-back 3-pointers on assists from James to give Cleveland a 71-70 lead with 9:09 to play.

"I'm glad (James) is on my team," Jones said.

Toronto's T.J. Ford buried a 3-pointer followed by another outside jumper at 5:28 to pull the Raptors even at 77-77.

But with the game on the line, James stole the show - again. His second monster dunk of the quarter put the Cavs up, 81-77. At 3:02, the two-time All-Star Most Valuable sank a backbreaking 3-pointer and Cleveland led, 86-79.

Joe Smith sank a corner jumper to seal it with 13.8 seconds left to account for the final margin.

"I like the way we played. We just didn't shoot the ball well," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "Maybe two shots all night that can be considered bad shot. It's hard to win anytime you shoot 39 percent."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavs. Reserves Devin Brown and Jones ignited Cleveland with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Jones had seven assists.

"In order to chase after a championship, you have to do what it takes," Brown said.

Chris Bosh, in just his second game back after missing 10 with a sore right knee, led the Raptors with 24 points.

"In a seven-game series, we have to continue to make (James) shoot those one-dribble pull-up shots, instead of getting to the rim," Bosh said. "At the end of the day, in a series like that, it will be tougher for him to continue to make those shots."

Rasho Nesterovic had 16 off the bench for Toronto, which shot 39.5 percent (34-of-86) from the floor in losing for the sixth time in seven games.

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