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 ATLANTA (AP) -LeBron James really had to carry the load for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were missing four of their top seven scorers for Friday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Guard Daniel Gibson, averaging 11.6 points, was on the inactive list after straining his right hamstring the previous night in a loss at Houston.
Forward Drew Gooden (11.3) was still bothered by a strained right groin, sustained Tuesday while going up for dunk against Boston. He tested his leg before the game but wasn't in uniform.
Also inactive were Sasha Pavlovic (sprained foot) and Anderson Varejao (sprained ankle), Pavlovic missed his eighth straight game and is expected to be out another month. Varejao sat out his sixth game in a row and likely will be sidelined another week or two.
to keep trying to find a way.''
The injuries forced Cleveland to scramble its lineup. Ira Newble, who started at guard against Houston, moved up to forward. Eric Snow, averaging less than a point a game, started in the backcourt alongside Larry Hughes.
``Guys just have to stay ready to come in and contribute any way they can,'' Brown said. ``But we're a capable team. We feel like we're deep. We feel like anybody can suit up and play for us. When the opportunity presents itself, we all have to step up to the challenge.''
James, the NBA's leading scorer at 30.2 a game, wasn't at full strength, either. He hurt his right thumb during the third quarter against Houston.
``It's been better,'' he said. ``It's not going to keep me out of the game.''
James was asked if the injury would affect his jumper.
``We'll find out,'' he quipped. ``I shoot enough during the course of the game.''
The Cavaliers were especially vulnerable on the boards without Gooden and Varejao, who are both 6-foot-10.
``It's going to be a challenge for everybody,'' James said. ``It's going to be a team thing.''
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