Cavs Keep Rolling, Hughes Expected Back Tuesday
Things are looking up for the Cavaliers at the right time. The team defeated the Bobcats in Charlotte last night by a 101-97 count for their eighth straight win, matching an eight game streak they rattled off in November.
The Cavaliers never trailed the Bobcats past the games opening minutes, but let them hang around all game, mostly due to 20 turnovers. The scrappy Bobcats went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 94-92 with just over a minute left, but five consecutive free throws by LeBron James and some big stops late enabled the Cavaliers to hang on. The Cavs are now 7-0 lifetime versus the Bobcats.
Another night, another phenomenal performance from LeBron James. Despite being uncharacteristically saddled with foul problems in the fourth quarter, James still managed to get off for 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists in addition to his late heroics at the foul line. Those five free throws were his only points of the final frame. This morning, James was named the NBA Player of the Week for the third consecutive week, the first player to accomplish that this season.
James had a lot of help on this night though. Flip Murray scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, with most coming with James sitting on the pine to start the fourth, and the Cavs looking for answers offensively. The Cavs had five players in double digits as Donyell Marshall added 13 points and 9 rebounds. Zydrunas Ilgauskas also chipped in with 12 and 9, and Drew Gooden contributed with 16 points, many of which came at key junctures for the team. And Ira Newble came off the pine in the games final minute to check Bobcat phenom Gerald Wallace, and did a very effective job doing so despite not seeing any action to that point.
After the game, LeBron James said that Larry Hughes “should play Tuesday”, which is great news for the club. The team is playing its best ball of the year, and Hughes presence as a perimeter defender and slasher offensively. The Cavs are now 6 ½ games up on the Wizards for the #4 seed in the East, with just nine games remaining.