LBJ, Sasha Lead Team To Seventh Straight Victory
The Cavaliers defeated the New Jersey Nets 91-85 at The Q last night, finally knocking off a tough Nets team that has had their number during The LeBron James Era. The win was the seventh straight for the Cavs, and broke a string of five straight losses to New Jersey.
The Cavs were led by the duo of LeBron James and Sasha Pavlovic, who carried the team to victory late in what was a tight game throughout. James registered the seventh triple double of his career, scoring 26 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists. Pavlovic scored 7 of his 14 points consecutively during one stretch late in the fourth quarter. Pavlovic also grabbed seven rebounds and played tough and aggressive defense chasing around Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. The Cavs are now 7-0 since inserting Pavlovic into the starting lineup.
James scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half, after being held to zero points in the second quarter. As has been the case throughout this entire win streak, King James came out of the locker room at half time a man posessed, and determined to lead this team to another win. He made a big play defensively with a minute left, altering a Jason Kidd breakaway layup that would have tied the game. James also hit four consecutive free throws late that helped seal the win.
After getting out to a quick 8-0 start, the Cavaliers looked brutal for the remainder of the first half, and the action was sloppy on both ends of the court for both teams. The Nets led 35-34 at the half, ending 24 minutes of basketball that were hard on the eyes.
The Cavs improved defensive play continued, as they held the Nets to 37% shooting on the evening. They blocked nine shots, including five by Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who did a good job sealing off the paint all night. Eric Snow and Pavlovic did a pretty good job annoying the Nets big three of Carter, Jason Kidd, and Richard Jefferson. And Anderson Varejao played another 23 minutes of inspired basketball, ending with 4 points, 7 rebounds, and altering several shots. The Cavs also outrebounded the Nets 51-33, and hit 23-29 from the foul line, including several clutch free throws late.
The Cavs moved to ten games over .500 at 27-17, and caught a flight after the game to Miami, where they will face the Heat tonight in a nationally televised affair.