Cavs beat Celtics, stay unbeaten at home

CLEVELAND (AP) -- For the second straight season, the Cavaliers'

front office has chosen the catchy slogan -- "One for All. All for

One" -- to help sell tickets, T-shirts and assorted merchandise.

The motto is designed to promote the entire team. It fits LeBron

James even better.

The One, indeed.

James scored 36 points for the second game in a row, Larry

Hughes added 25 and the Cavaliers stayed the NBA's hottest team

with their eighth straight win, 115-93 over the Boston Celtics on

Tuesday night.

The Cavaliers (9-2) improved to 6-0 at home, where they're not

just winning but dominating. Cleveland has won by an average of 21

points per game at the revamped and renamed Quicken Loans Arena.

But the Cavs' improvement on the floor has been the biggest change.

Cleveland last won eight straight games in 1997 when James was

in middle school, long before he became an Akron high school legend

and All-Star forward. In three years as a pro, he has never been

better, and neither have the Cavaliers.

"We're on a great roll," James said. "For the first time I

feel great because our team is playing real well."

James is having an affect on the Cavaliers, who are off to their

best start since the 1976-77 team also went 9-2.

"We don't feel like we should lose," said Hughes, who has

quickly become the running mate James never had before as a pro.

"That's LeBron's mentality and it's trickling down to everybody."

Drew Gooden added 13 points and 15 rebounds -- his fifth

double-double -- and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 19 points for the

Cavaliers, whose closest game at home was a 15-point win over

Washington on Nov. 15.

In their past two games, James and Hughes, who signed with

Cleveland as a free agent during the summer, have combined for 134


"I'm not having to call much," Cavs coach Mike Brown said.

"It's LeBron, it's Larry, it's LeBron, it's Larry. And everybody

else is feeding off those two guys."

Ricky Davis scored 27 points with 15 rebounds, Paul Pierce had

24 points and Mark Blount 21 for Boston, which was still within 10

points with 6:55 left.

But Hughes drilled a 3-pointer, Eric Snow dropped two free

throws and James completed a three-point play as the Cavs pushed

their lead to 102-89 with 4:57 left. Safely ahead, Brown then

emptied his bench of reserves -- something he has been able to do

during each home game this season.

A 3-pointer by Davis brought the Celtics within 74-72 in the

third quarter, when James took over at point guard and took over

the game.

He scored Cleveland's next 10 points, capping his outburst and a

15-point period by burying a 3-pointer from the top of the key over

Dan Dickau and Justin Reed with 1.9 seconds left to give the Cavs a

84-73 lead.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers was impressed with James' all-around


"The difference in him now from last year is that he keeps his

teammates involved," Rivers said. "He scored 36 in the flow, and

if he was selfish he could have scored 50 and they may have lost."

In the first half, the Cavaliers lost one of their best outside

shooters when point guard Damon Jones sprained his left ankle after

banging knees with Davis.

Jones was moving to his left while playing defense against Davis

and rolled his ankle when the two got locked up. Jones did not

return and is questionable for Thursday's game at Indiana.

Back-to-back three-point plays by Gooden and James helped the

Cavs open a 16-point lead in the second quarter. James got ahead on

a fast break and was fouled by Pierce, who tried to wrap his arms

around Cleveland's forward.

But James merely muscled up his shot, and after sinking it, he

sneered and shook his head several times as a reminder that he's

tough to stop.

"He's a strong guy and obviously you have to foul him a little

harder," Pierce said.

The Celtics, though, weren't intimidated and went on a 13-4 run

to get back into it before eventually trailing 58-49 at the break.Game notes
Snow had a season-high nine assists. ... Celtics G Delonte

West sustained a hip pointer in the third quarter and didn't

return. ... Rivers admired new murals of former Cleveland All-Stars

painted on the walls outside the locker rooms and wondered why

their wasn't a portrait of his uncle, Boston assistant Jim Brewer,

who played for the Cavs in the 1970s. "He should be up there,"

said Rivers, well versed in Cavs' history. Rivers even named his

second son, Austin James, after Cavs great Austin Carr and Brewer.

... Davis played 2½ seasons in Cleveland, where fans abandoned him

after some selfish play and comments. He doesn't mind hearing fans

boo him when he returns. "I like it when they are hard on me," he

said. "It keeps me working." ... Rapper/Rocker Kid Rock sat

courtside in the first half.