Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Ilgauskas sets Cavs games record
CLEVELAND -- A little later than expected, Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas set a Cleveland record for games played.
Ilgauskas, whose career was nearly ended by severe foot injuries, played in his 724th game Wednesday night when he entered with 3:50 left in the first quarter.
It moved him past former teammate and current Cleveland general manager Danny Ferry for the most games by a Cavaliers player.
The sellout crowd inside the Q responded with a standing ovation for the beloved 7-foot-3 center, known simply as 'Z.' He also is the team's career leader in rebounds and blocked shots. He's one of four players in team history to score at least 10,000 points.
Ilgauskas had been positioned to set the mark on Saturday, but coach Mike Brown chose not to play him in a win over Dallas.
The snub prompted LeBron James to criticize Brown for not playing Ilgauskas.
Ilgauskas, a first-round pick in 1996, had major reconstructive surgeries in both feet during his first five seasons in the NBA, risky procedures that worked out and allowed him to continue playing. Since his most recent operation in 2001, Ilgauskas has played in at least 62 games in each season.