Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 12/9

Game 1: Tuesday, December 9th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 3rd
Game 3: Wednesday, February 18th

Cavaliers 93

(41-11, 17-10 away)

Raptors 76

(21-35, 10-16 home)

    Coverage: TSN2

    7:00 PM ET, February 18, 2009

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 24 23 24 2293
    TOR 23 18 15 2076

    Top Performers

    Cle: L. James 20 Pts, 9 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Tor: S. Marion 10 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    James, Ilgauskas pace Cavs in easy defeat of Raptors

    Associated Press

    TORONTO -- Even if they don't make a move before the trade deadline, the Cleveland Cavaliers think they've got enough for another run at the NBA Finals.

    LeBron James had 20 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 22 points in the Cavaliers' 93-76 victory over Toronto on Wednesday night.

    Fast Facts

    • The Cavaliers spoiled Shawn Marion's debut with the Raptors, holding Toronto to 76 points on 36.5 percent shooting from the field.

    • Wednesday's victory marked the seventh time this season Cleveland has held an opponent to 80 points or fewer.

    • The Raptors dropped their fifth straight overall and have lost nine of 10 against the Cavaliers.

    • Marion finished with 10 points, six rebounds and six assists in the loss.

    -- ESPN research

    James said the Cavaliers have improved in the two years since they were swept by San Antonio in the finals.

    "We're a better team now in '09 than we were in '07 at this point, but there's a lot of games left," James said.

    With the Cavaliers (41-11) on pace for the best record in team history, guard Mo Williams said there's no need to make a deal, meaning the players are relaxed as the deadline draws near.

    "We're already good," Williams said. "We know that. When you're at the level that we are right now, they're not just going to blow up the team. Guys are not on pins and needles."

    Nevertheless there are rumors that Cleveland, which leads the Central Division and is chasing Boston for top spot in the East, may seek to bolster its roster before Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline. Reports have linked the Cavaliers with deals for Washington's Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler and with Marcus Camby of the Los Angeles Clippers, but the availability of both Camby and Jamison is in question.

    Cleveland had also been in the running for center Brad Miller, who was traded Wednesday from Sacramento to Chicago in a deal that also sent John Salmons to the Bulls.

    Coach Mike Brown said he didn't believe a deal was likely and planned to leave the trade talk to general manager Danny Ferry.

    "It's Danny's job to work the phones to see if there's a way that we can get better," Brown said. "If there is, there is and if there's not, there's not."

    Brown also said the Cavaliers still have room for improvement.

    "I feel like we can get better and I feel that the group of guys in that locker room make us a championship-caliber team," he said. "We feel like we're one of the elite teams in the league. But just because we feel like it, we've got to go do it, because we haven't done that yet. Then we can go patting ourselves on the back."

    Needing two rebounds and one assist in the final quarter for his 21st career triple-double, James had six points but only one rebound before leaving the game for good with just over 3 minutes remaining.

    James scored only four points in the first two quarters but got 10 in the third as Cleveland outscored Toronto 24-15 to take a 71-56 lead into the fourth.

    "He can have two points in the first half and you just know there's a good chance he's going to end up with 20-plus," Brown said. "Not only that, he's going to affect the game in other areas. He almost ended up with a triple-double tonight and you wouldn't have thought that at halftime."

    Williams scored 17 points, Wally Szczerbiak had 11, and Anderson Varejao finished with 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers, 6-2 in their last eight games.

    Ilgauskas shot 11-for-17, falling one point shy of his season-high.

    "We knew we had a size advantage against these guys," Ilgauskas said. "They tried to look for me early in the post and I was able to succeed. Having played poorly in the last couple of games before the All-Star break, just for myself I wanted to have a good game and get back in the swing of things."

    Joey Graham had 15 points for Toronto, which has lost five straight to Cleveland. Jose Calderon added 13 points, and Andrea Bargnani has 11.

    Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks, acquired from Miami on Friday, made their Toronto debuts. Marion started and scored 10 points in 40 minutes, while Banks came off the bench to score four points.

    Chris Bosh (right knee) missed his fifth straight game for Toronto, while Cleveland was without forward Ben Wallace, who needed 14 stitches to close a cut on his right elbow after crashing through a car window during a game of street football over the All-Star break.

    Raptors coach Jay Triano was ejected for arguing with 5 minutes left.

    Triano picked up a double technical for arguing that Anthony Parker had been fouled by James on a missed jump shot. Assistant coach Mike Evans tried to restrain Triano, but couldn't prevent him from being ejected by referee Kevin Fehr. Evans took over as Triano headed to the locker room.

    "It's very frustrating when you know you're getting fouled and all the calls are going their way," Graham said. "We felt like we were playing eight guys out there."

    Toronto led 19-10 with 4:36 left in the first but the Cavaliers closed the quarter with a 15-4 run to lead 24-23 after one.

    James didn't take a shot in 5 minutes in the second, but Ilgauskas scored eight points and Williams added six as the Cavaliers took a 47-41 lead into the intermission.

    Game notes

    James wound up in the first row of seats after diving over a baseline advertising sign going for a loose ball in the first quarter. ... Kinsey landed in the second row of courtside seats chasing a loose ball in the third. ... The Cavaliers plan to practice at a Toronto-area college on Thursday before flying to Milwaukee, where they'll face the Bucks on Friday night. ... Marion tied a season-high with six assists.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 76
    FGM-FGA 40-69 (.580) 31-85 (.365)
    3PM-3PA 2-10 (.200) 4-15 (.267)
    FTM-FTA 11-16 (.688) 10-12 (.833)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 4-48 8-32
    Assists 20 18
    Turnovers 20 11
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 7 2
    Fast Break Points 8 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 13 (1/0) 13 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 22 9

    Top Performers

    LeBron James James
    Points: 20
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Shawn Marion Marion
    Points: 10
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2