"If LeBron is hitting 3-pointers, you've got to let him keep
rolling," Jackson said. "Nobody has a problem with leaving him in
when he's like that."
James, who helped recruit Hughes as a free agent to Cleveland
during the offseason, scored just two points in the first quarter
but followed with 14 in the second, 14 in the third and seven in
the fourth before leaving with 2:32 left.
Cavaliers coach Mike Brown tried to substitute for James "three
or four times" in the first quarter, but it seemed like as soon as
Jackson vacated his seat and headed for the scorer's table, James
responded with big plays.
"I hit a couple 3s and a dunk and I saw the guy who was coming
to get me sit back down," said James, who added 10 rebounds in 42
Brown felt bad for Jackson and tried to make him feel better.
"I kissed him on the forehead one time," Brown said. "But
that's kind of embarrassing for an NBA player."
The Cavaliers won their fifth straight, and are 4-0 at home,
winning by an average of 21 points at Quicken Loans Arena.
Hughes was only 7-of-19 from the field, but he added eight
assists and made two 3-pointers and scored 12 points in the final
5:03 to thwart a Wizards rally. Donyell Marshall added 16 points
and Zydrunas Ilgauskas 12 for the Cavs.
Washington's Gilbert Arenas, who scored a league-high 43 on
Saturday night against San Antonio, was held to 18 -- 10 below his
average -- and shot just 4-of-17. Antawn Jamison led the Wizards
with 26 points and Caron Butler had 14.
"I couldn't get to the basket," Arenas said. "Every time we
made a run, LeBron answered. We just didn't have it tonight."
With James resting on the bench, the Wizards pulled to 86-77
early in the fourth on a layup by Antonio Daniels. But James came
back after sitting for only 1:12 and the Cavaliers immediately went
on an 8-0 run.
"I felt I needed him back on the floor," Brown said. "LeBron
is absolutely amazing."
Moments later, Hughes hit a 3-pointer and Drew Gooden scored on
a putback as the Cavaliers opened a 101-86 lead and coasted.
Driving to the basket at every opportunity, James went 6-for-8
from the floor and scored 14 points in the third. His 3-point play
in the final second gave the Cavs an 82-70 lead entering the
Hughes left the Wizards as a free agent this summer when the
club low-balled him with their first contract offer, allowing the
Cavs to sign him to a five-year, $60 million deal.
Before the game, Hughes was asked how much he was looking
forward to playing the Wizards.
"I definitely want to win so I talk a little smack to those
guys," Hughes said. "I was one of the oldest guys on that team
and they kind of looked up to me."
Arenas came in as the league's hottest player after scoring 75
points in his previous two games, but he never got into a rhythm as
Hughes and the Cavaliers chased him all over the floor.
"I was calling out their plays," Hughes said. "I was with
them long enough that I knew where their guys were going."
Following the game, Arenas dressed quickly and came to visit
Hughes in the Cavaliers' newly remodeled locker room.
"Man," Arenas said, admiring the state-of-the-art stereo
equipment and TV screens in each player's dressing stall. "Was
this part of the salary cap?"
Arenas arrived so quickly after the game, Hughes asked his good
friend if he had bothered showering.
"Yeah, I took one," Arenas said. "Our meeting was quick."
Arenas has made a 3-pointer in 36 straight games, a league
high. ... The Cavaliers entered as the only team in the league to
have three players -- Gooden, Ilgauskas and Marshall -- among the top
30 rebounders. ... The Cavs missed their first nine shots. ... The
Wizards play four of their next five on the road. ... Cleveland,
the NBA's leading free-throw team, went 23-of-27 from the line.
They're shooting 82.2 after finishing 20th overall with a 75.2
percentage last season.
Ingles drops 14 points off bench in Jazz opener
Joe Ingles immediately finds mid-season rhythm, going 4-for-7 from three in Utah's comfortable win over the Thunder.
Wizards to host Pacers Friday
Indiana Pacers (0-1, ninth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Washington Wizards (1-0, third in the Eastern Conference)
Brooklyn Nets travel to take on the 76ers
Brooklyn Nets (0-1, in the Eastern Conference) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (1-0, sixth in the Eastern Conference)