Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/9

Game 1: Friday, December 9th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 27th
Game 3: Wednesday, February 1st
Game 4: Saturday, April 8th

Cavaliers 108

(46-30, 17-20 away)

Nets 102

(46-29, 28-10 home)

1:00 PM ET, April 8, 2006

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ

1 2 3 4 T
CLE 27 24 21 36108
NJ 26 30 22 24102

Top Performers

Cleveland: L. James 37 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

New Jersey: V. Carter 33 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

LeBron rallies Cavs in fourth to end Nets' streak

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets didn't have an answer for LeBron James in the fourth quarter, and now they won't have to answer any more questions about their NBA-best winning streak.

James scored 18 of his 37 points in the final 12 minutes Saturday to lead Cleveland to a 108-102 victory, ending New Jersey's 14-game winning streak and leaving the Nets one win shy of a franchise record.

James' effort came one game after he scored 21 fourth-quarter points against the New York Knicks in a losing effort Wednesday. This time, the Cavaliers ensured their 10th win in their last 11 games by scoring 12 of the game's final 13 points after New Jersey took a 101-96 lead.

The tying points came on a vintage James move as he drove the lane on a fast break with two players hacking at his arms yet somehow managed to spin the ball off the glass. The three-point play tied the game at 101 with 50 seconds left.

"By far, this is our biggest win of the year, especially the way we played down the stretch," James said. "We won a big game on the road. It was all about stops and making plays down the stretch. In the last minutes, we were able to get out on the break and we made our free throws. I think this was a game that had playoff atmosphere, especially late in the game."

New Jersey was trying to become the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999-00 to win at least 15 games in a row. The Lakers won 19 from Feb. 4 through March 13, 2000.

Vince Carter, who was the Nets' late-game closer in many of their wins during the run, scored 33 points for New Jersey but missed three jumpers and a foul shot in the final minute.

The free throw may have hurt the most. Carter was fouled with the Nets trailing 103-101 and missed his second free throw to leave New Jersey trailing by a point. James hit two free throws to extend the lead to 105-102. Carter got free at the top of the key for a 3-pointer on New Jersey's next possession but missed badly.

He had nothing but praise afterward for James, who remained in the game despite picking up his fifth foul with 3:55 left.

"He's a great player," said Carter. "He shares the ball for 3½ quarters and in the last six minutes he turns it up. He's phenomenal."

Five Cavaliers scored in double figures including reserve Larry Hughes, who scored 15 in his third game back since missing 45 games with a fractured finger. Richard Jefferson added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets.

New Jersey missed a chance to gain on Miami for the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, falling three games behind the Heat. Miami faces Washington on Saturday night in a game that also has playoff ramifications for Cleveland: a Miami win will clinch home-court advantage for the Cavaliers for the first round of the playoffs.

Nets players insisted they hadn't paid too much attention to the streak except when it was brought up to them. Now, they can concentrate fully on preparing for the playoffs.

"It had to come to an end, sooner or later," said New Jersey's Clifford Robinson, who scored 14 points in a reserve. "It's time for us to bounce back and play hard against two potential playoff opponents (Milwaukee and Chicago) on the road. We have to be at our best once again."

Game notes

New Jersey won 14 consecutive games in the 2003-2004 season, 13 of which came after current coach Lawrence Frank took over for Byron Scott. ... Cavaliers C Zydrunas Ilgauskas missed his second game with a left ankle sprain. ... Robinson's second 3-pointer in the first half moved him past Chuck Person for 18th place on the NBA's all-time list with 1,221. Jason Kidd made one to tie Latrell Sprewell for 27th place with 1,105. ... Carter extended his club record of scoring at least 20 points to 20 consecutive games. His personal record is 23, set twice while he was with Toronto. ... The Cavaliers, who average 28 free throws a game, shot 22 in the first half and 41 in the game. ... New Jersey gave up more than 90 points for just the fourth time since the winning streak began on March 12.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 108 102
FGM-FGA 38-70 (.543) 38-80 (.475)
3PM-3PA 3-8 (.375) 6-22 (.273)
FTM-FTA 29-41 (.707) 20-24 (.833)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-38 8-37
Assists 15 25
Turnovers 13 10
Steals 7 5
Blocks 2 1
Fast Break Points 14 19
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/0) 31 (0/0)
Largest Lead 6 11

Top Performers

New Jersey
LeBron James James
Points: 37
Reb: 5
Ast: 7
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Vince Carter Carter
Points: 33
Reb: 5
Ast: 2
Stl: 2
Blk: 1