Cavs rally to beat Nets

April 9, 2008 7:11:00 PM PDT
LeBron James played with his aching back and the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied for a much-needed win.James, who didn't practice Monday and Tuesday because of back spasms, scored 33 points as the Cavaliers overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat the New Jersey Nets, 104-83, Wednesday night.

The Nets led 67-53 midway through the third period before the Cavaliers rallied to take a 76-74 lead going into the fourth quarter. Bostjan Nachbar's 3-pointer to begin the fourth gave New Jersey a 77-76 lead, but Cleveland scored the next nine points.

Sasha Pavlovic had a jumper, Joe Smith scored two baskets, and Wally Sczerbiak added a 3-pointer to go ahead, 85-77.

As the Cavaliers took control, New Jersey went scoreless on 10 straight possessions and didn't score again until Vince Carter's two free throws with 4:36 left. The Cavaliers took a 90-79 lead on James' three-point play with 4:23 to play. The Nets scored nine points in the fourth quarter.

James was 11-of-21 from the field with seven rebounds and eight assists.

Sczerbiak scored 14 while Zydrunas Ilgauskas 13 for the Cavaliers, who lead Washington by two games for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Carter scored 19 points and Richard Jefferson added 15 to lead New Jersey, which won the first three meetings this season against Cleveland.

The Nets lead 53-49 at halftime and scored the first seven points of the third quarter.


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