Cavaliers 100, Bobcats 98, OT

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CLEVELAND (AP)—Drew Gooden made sure the Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t looking ahead.

Gooden scored nine of Cleveland’s final 15 points, including seven in overtime, helping the Cavaliers extend their winning streak to four games with a 100-98 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night.

“I was mad, upset,” said Gooden, who finished with 17 points. “I had a chip on my shoulder in the second half. We weren’t playing like us.”

LeBron James scored 29 points and sparked Cleveland’s rally from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit. Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 22 points as the Cavaliers improved to 14-3 at home before heading off on a six-game road trip.

Gerald Wallace and Primoz Brezec each scored 18 points for Charlotte, which has lost eight of nine. Former Cavaliers guard Brevin Knight had 15 points and tied a career best with an NBA season-high 20 assists for the Bobcats.

“It didn’t get us a win,” Knight said. “I’ll take two assists and a win over 20 assists and a loss any day.”

Gooden hit the final basket of regulation to tie it at 87. He then scored on a short jumper, a finger roll and converted a missed shot by James into a layup to help Cleveland go ahead 95-91 with 1:31 left in overtime.

“I wanted to contribute, wanted to score,” Gooden said. “I felt like I could score down the stretch.”

Gooden made one of two free throws with 7 seconds left to make it 98-95. Ilgauskas sank two from the line with 5.4 to play.

Keith Bogans, who scored 17 points, hit a 3-pointer for Charlotte to finish the scoring.

Each team missed shots in the final five seconds of regulation. Jeff McInnis stripped the ball from Bogans, but misfired from the corner. Knight got the rebound, hustled up court and fed Bogans, who missed a 12-footer as the buzzer sounded.

“We should have been sitting on the bus with the win,” said Bogans. “The shot felt good, looked good, but was just a little off.”

Coming off a 25-point rout of New York on Saturday, the Cavaliers never quite matched the energy of the expansion Bobcats until five minutes remained in regulation.

“I didn’t think we played very smart,” Cavs coach Paul Silas said. “To lose a game like this would have been a disaster, especially going out west.”

James scored five points in a 32-second span to get Cleveland to 83-81 late in the fourth quarter.

“We had to bring as much energy as we could in the fourth,” said James, who admitted the Cavs probably were looking to a matchup against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

“It’s going to be intense. Kobe is going to bring his ‘A’ game and so am I.”

James turned up his game against Charlotte by hitting a 3-pointer with 3:54 left in the fourth. After Gooden blocked a shot at the other end, James got the ball and drove through the Bobcats’ defense, spinning his way to the hoop and dropping in a left-handed layup.

Knight hit two key baskets to help Charlotte maintain its slim lead, and Wallace stuffed James’ attempt inside with 42 seconds to play. Cleveland got the ball back and James fed Gooden for a layup that tied it at 87 with 33 seconds left.

Charlotte had taken command in the third quarter when Wallace went up and over the Cleveland defense to convert three power slams and score 10 points to help the Bobcats to a 74-64 lead.

Emeka Okafor, the second pick in the 2004 draft, had six points and nine rebounds for Charlotte.


Cavs G Dajuan Wagner has been hospitalized since Sunday with an intestinal disorder. “They’ve taken a lot of tests, but we don’t have the results,” coach Paul Silas said. … The Bobcats activated G-F Bernard Robinson, who had missed 25 games with left knee tendinitis, and put F Theron Smith on the injured list with right knee tendinitis. … Charlotte is 0-11 on the road against Eastern Division teams and 1-15 overall. … Former Cavaliers player Jason Kapono scored all 11 of his points in the first half.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
B. Knight B. Knight
4-9,  15 Pts
3 Rebs, 20 Assists
L. James L. James
11-24,  29 Pts
8 Rebs, 9 Assists

Team Stat Leaders