|Cavaliers, Celtics looking better every day|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 03 December 2008 23:29|
The Eastern Conference's two best teams look better every day.
LeBron James scored 21 points then grabbed an early seat on the bench as the Cavaliers improved to 10-0 on their own floor for the first time in their history and won their 14th in 15 games, 118-82 over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
The Cavs, who have won six straight overall, improved their best ever start to 15-3. Cleveland opened 9-0 at home in both the 1976-77 and 1991-92 seasons.
``We're going to stay humble, and play every game like its our last,'' James said.
Cleveland would be dangerous with home-court advantage in the playoffs, but the Celtics seem intent on keeping that for themselves.
Rajon Rondo notched his first career triple-double and Ray Allen scored 31 points, leading Boston over the Pacers 114-96 for its 10th straight victory. The Celtics are an NBA-best 18-2.
``They really had too many weapons for us tonight,'' Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. ``They're awful difficult to beat. That's why they're the world champs.''
r NBA games Wednesday, it was: Atlanta 105, Memphis 95; Orlando 100, Minnesota 89; the Los Angeles Lakers 114, Philadelphia 102; Portland 98, Washington 92; Charlotte 103, Oklahoma City 97; Milwaukee 97, Chicago 90; New Orleans 104, Phoenix 91; Houston 103, the Los Angeles Clippers 96; and Miami 93, Utah 89.
In Boston, Rondo scored 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out a career-high 17 assists as Boston matched the longest winning streak from its 2007-08 championship season, a 10-game run from Feb. 24 through March 12.
``He was amazing,'' Kevin Garnett said. ``It was like there was three Rondos. I looked up and it came off the rim and he is grabbing a rebound, then I got back on defense and he beat me back. He was everywhere tonight.''
Garnett added 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who avenged one of their two losses this season. They host the Portland Trail Blazers, who are 7-0 against the East, on Friday.
In Cleveland, Mo Williams added 16 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and none of the Cavs' starters played more than 28 minutes. They built a 42-point lead in the second half of their biggest victory ever over the short-handed Knicks.
``It's at an all-time high,'' James said. ``No one puts themselves before the team and the feel is really good right now. But it's early. We don't want to get too high on ourselves right now.''
At Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant tormented his hometown team again, scoring 32 points to help Los Angeles rebound from a last-second loss and improve to 15-2.
Andre Miller scored 26 points for the Sixers, who played the entire fourth quarter and the last 4 minutes of the third without Elton Brand, who had three points on 1-for-7 shooting before leaving with a strained right hamstring.
Hornets 104, Suns 91
At New Orleans, Chris Paul had 24 points and 15 assists, Peja Stojakovic scored 24 points and David West added 23 points and 14 rebounds to help New Orleans win its fifth in six games.
Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 26 points, Leandro Barbosa added 19 and Grant Hill had 17. However, the Suns were unable to keep pace with guard Steve Nash sidelined because of an illness and Shaquille O'Neal also sitting out to rest for Thursday's game against Dallas.
Trail Blazers 98, Wizards 92
At Washington, Brandon Roy scored 12 of his 22 points in the final 8 minutes to help Portland extend its winning streak to six games. Rookie center Greg Oden finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double in 12 games.
Antawn Jamison scored 22 points and Caron Butler added 16 for the Wizards, who fell to an Eastern Conference-worst 3-13.
Rockets 103, Clippers 96
n beat Los Angeles for the seventh straight time.
Al Thornton scored 24 and Zach Randolph had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers.
Hawks 105, Grizzlies 95
At Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 26 points, Mike Bibby had 20 points and 10 assists, and the Hawks welcomed back Josh Smith after he missed 12 games with an ankle sprain.
Rudy Gay finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds as Memphis dropped its season-worst seventh straight.
Heat 93, Jazz 89
At Salt Lake City, Dwyane Wade scored 23 points and Miami (10-9) climbed back above .500 by finishing a 3-2 road trip.
With injured forwards Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko and Matt Harpring watching from the bench, Paul Millsap led Utah with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Magic 100, Timberwolves 89
At Orlando, Fla., Dwight Howard had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Rashard Lewis also scored 23 points as the Magic won again despite missing their top three guards with injuries.
Hedo Turkoglu added 22 for the Magic. Al Jefferson had 19 to lead the Timberwolves.
Bobcats 103, Thunder 97
At Charlotte, N.C., Emeka Okafor had 25 points and 13 rebounds for the Bobcats, who won consecutive games under coach Larry Brown for the first time.
homa City couldn't overcome 19 turnovers and dropped to 2-17.
Bucks 97, Bulls 90
At Milwaukee, Charlie Villanueva scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Dan Gadzuric had 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks.
Ben Gordon scored 22 points and Luol Deng 21 for Chicago. Derrick Rose had 18 points and nine assists but committed five turnovers, giving him 11 in his last two games.