CLEVELAND (AP) -- So far the Cavaliers' new scoreboard has said
the same thing after every home game: blowout.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half,
James added 16 and the Cleveland Cavaliers cruised to their fifth
straight easy win at home, 102-84 over the Orlando Magic on Friday
"I wish we had 82 games at home," James said.
With their sixth consecutive victory, the Cavs improved to 7-2,
matching the second-best start in franchise history. Only
Cleveland's 1976-77 squad, which started 8-0, has opened better.
This season has a long way to go, but the Cavaliers have more
depth and offensive weapons than at any time since James came into
the NBA. More importantly, they're playing great defense under
rookie coach Mike Brown.
"This is the most fun I've had in my 2½ years so far," James
said. "We have to keep it going."
Drew Gooden added 15 points, Damon Jones made five 3-pointers,
Larry Hughes had 12 points and Jackson had the night's nicest pass
for the Cavs, who are 5-0 at Quicken Loans Arena, winning each game
by an average 20 points.
"I love blowing teams out," said James, who rested for the
final 10:25. "Right now, we're riding our confidence and we've got
to blow teams out. That's what we want to do. We don't want any
Orlando came in as the NBA's stingiest defensive team, but the
Cavs beat the Magic for the second time in a week, surpassing the
100-point plateau against Orlando for the second time. The Magic
have held their other six opponents under 100.
"I've never played with so much talent," said Ilgauskas, who
has been with the Cavs since 1996. "You can afford to have a bad
quarter or half. In the past, if you had a bad stretch, you were
Steve Francis had 21 points and Dwight Howard added 10 points
and 15 rebounds for Orlando, which was outrebounded 54-40. The
Cavaliers dominated at their end, finishing with 25 offensive
rebounds -- eight by Ilgauskas.
"Ilgauskas had seven in the first quarter alone," Magic coach
Brian Hill said. "I'm not sure I've ever been involved in a game
where the other team had 25 offensive rebounds."
Ilgauskas, who had 11 rebounds overall, and James spent most of
the fourth quarter on the bench, getting rest for Saturday night's
game at Philadelphia.
Leading by 14 at halftime, the Cavaliers opened their lead to 20
after three when James crowned the period by delivering a soaring
one-handed dunk off a gorgeous alley-oop pass from Jackson.
However, Ilgauskas started the play by stepping around to poke the
ball away from Howard underneath.
"That play right there," Brown said. "I just love it. That's
what we need to be doing for 48 minutes."
Jackson hit a 3-pointer and Jones buried his fifth 3 as the
Cavaliers extended their lead to 28 with 8:47 left.
Brown then emptied his bench of reserves, a luxury he's had all
year at home.
"I'll take it," Ilgauskas said. "These are a lot easier on
After the Magic pulled to 43-35 in the second quarter, Ilgauskas
came off the bench and helped the Cavs push their lead to 14 at
halftime by making two straight jumpers and feeding Gooden with a
behind-the-back pass in traffic.
Ilgauskas, who led the league in offensive rebounds last season,
played volleyball around the basket in the first quarter. Tipping
back his own misses, he scored 15 points and was credited with
seven offensive boards in the period.
Ilgauskas has scored 20 more in a half four times in his
career, three of them since January. ... Howard has six
double-doubles in a row. ... Brown has vivid memories of last
year's brawl in Detroit, when Pacers forward Ron Artest and several
Indiana teammates fought Pistons fans in the stands. "It was
scary," said Brown, unaware that one year has passed since one of
the NBA's darker moments. Brown, who spent two seasons as a Pacers
assistant, was one of the first to reach Artest. "I'm just happy
nobody got hurt." ... James isn't the only youngster setting
league records. Earlier this week, the 19-year-old Howard became
the youngest to get 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game. He had 21
and 20 against Charlotte.
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