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LeBron's Huge 2nd Half Overpowers Jazz

LeBron's Huge 2nd Half Overpowers Jazz



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CLEVELAND (AP) -- LeBron James scored 40 points -- 34 in the second half -- and made a crucial block on former teammate Carlos Boozer in the final seconds Friday night to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a 99-94 victory over Utah, ending a five-game winning streak by the Jazz.

James, playing as he did while leading the Cavs to their first NBA finals last season, did it all.

He just missed another triple-double, finishing with 10 rebounds, nine assists and three blocks. He made 13 of 15 free throws, including four straight in the final 3.8 seconds as the Cavs sealed it.

James, who had 16 points in the third and 18 in the fourth, either scored or assisted on 15 of Cleveland's 19 baskets in the second half. However, his biggest play was the block with 12.8 seconds left on Boozer, who is still regarded as a villain by Cleveland fans for reneging on a promise and leaving as a free agent.

Cleveland, which led by seven with two minutes left, was only up 94-92 when Boozer got the ball on the low block. But as he began to spin in the lane and go up, James swooped in from behind and swatted the ball away with his left hand.

Boozer jumped in the air and screamed to officials about the no-call. Utah's All-Star forward then had words with James as they walked slowly to the other end of the floor.

Cleveland's Devin Brown then split a pair of free throws and Utah pulled within 95-94 on a basket by Andrei Kirilenko.

James was fouled, and Cleveland's superstar, who has struggled with his free-throw shooting, made both attempts to put the Cavs up by three. Utah had a chance to tie it, but Mehmet Okur missed a 3-pointer with two seconds to go, James grabbed his 10th rebound and made two more foul shots to make it 99-94.

After the final horn, James and Boozer stood underneath the basket, hugged and spoke for several moments before leaving the court.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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