LBJ Outplays Garnett in Fourth Quarter to Lead Team to Win
The Cavaliers won their fifth road game in their last six tries last night, holding off the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-91 at The Target Center. LeBron James scored 12 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a couple clutch baskets as well as a couple big free throws inside the games final minute.
James shot just 11-34 from the field, but outplayed Timberwolves superstar Kevin Garnett down the stretch, and also ended with 11 rebounds and 8 assists. Garnett scored just two points in the final stanza.
The Cavs got out to a terrible start, as they have in other road wins during this stretch. They trailed by 15 at one point early in the game, and got no production early on from anyone other than Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who had a 10 point first quarter. But once again, coach Mike Brown made the right adjustments, playing LeBron James at the point guard spot for most of the fourth quarter. For most of the second half, Brown went with a lineup of LeBron at the point, Sasha Pavlovic and Damon Jones on the wings, and Donyell Marshall and Ilgauskas down low. The team also defended very well late, holding Minnesota to just 34% shooting after the first quarter.
The Cavs rode a strong third quarter to a five point lead, and were able to hold off the Wolves down the stretch. Minnesota cut the Cavs lead to 90-88, but LeBron James then responded with one of his patented power drives to the bucket, not all that unlike the one that sealed the game against the Bucks Monday night. The score gave the Cavs a 92-88 lead that they would end up holding on to.
Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall combined to make 7-13 from the field for 22 points. When these two are shooting the ball well, the Cavs are a much more formidable force. Marshall also had 13 rebounds in 36 minutes of action. Ilgauskas also added 21 points and 8 rebounds. Garnett ended with 21 points, 18 rebounds, and 6 assists for Minnesota and former Cavalier Ricky Davis had a hot night, scoring 33 points against his old team.
The win moves the Cavs to ten games over .500 at 29-19 and four games up on Indiana and Milwaukee in the Central division. They fly out tonight to the nation’s capital for a road game versus the Wizards on Friday night.