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12.03.2007

Without James, Cavs fall to Celtics in Boston revenge

Even though LeBron James is making a really good season, Cavs have a hard time trying to win when he is sidelined. On Sunday, a sprained left index finger made him miss the clash against Bolton Celtics, and the Cleveland Cavaliers were beaten.

As we know, Ray Allen scored a game-high 20 points to spark an 80-70 victory by the Celtics, who improved to 9-0 at home this season and limited the Cavaliers to their second-lowest points total in a match since the team began play in 1970.

Indeed, Cleveland fell to 9-5 in games without "King James" since the Cavaliers made him the first choice of the 2003 NBA Draft.

"When King James goes down, you feel like you have to carry the squad by yourself offensively," Cavaliers forward Drew Gooden admitted. "We've started to get better at doing that but then again that is not our identity.

In fact, it was the second game on the sideline for James since he suffered the injury in the second quarter against Detroit on Thursday. He did not play in the second half of a loss against the Pistons and missed Friday's loss at Toronto.

We must consider that James leads the NBA with 31.7 points a game and has also contributed 8.5 assists and 8.0 rebounds a game for Cleveland, which fell to 9-9. James had scored 38 points in a 109-104 ivertime victory over Boston last Tuesday.

Now, Lithuanian center Zydrunas Ilgauskas led Cleveland with 12 points and Serbian Sasha Pavlovic added 11 as the Cavaliers nearly matched the record low 59 points they scored against San Antonio on March 25, 1997.

"It was a defensive game," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown expressed. "I thought both sides did a nice job defending. We had some decent looks that normally we make that just didn't go down."

It took a 12-3 run by the Cavaliers in the game's final minutes to avoid the humiliation of a new all-time scoring futility record. And Cleveland shot only 32 percent for the encounter, hitting just 25-of-76 shots.

The Boston Celtics led 43-39 at half-time and began the second half with an 18-9 run to seize command.

It's important to mention that Kevin Garnett had nine points and eight rebounds while Paul Pierce added seven for the Celtics, who improved to a league-best 14-2 and went to 9-0 at home for the first time since 1985.

"In fact, We anticipated LeBron playing. He didn't but the world doesn't stop," Garnett stated. "The game definitely doesn't stop. We tried to go out there and get a victory."

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