James Leads Cavs Past Wizards

Wizards end preseason 2-5

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LeBron James had a preseason-high 26 points, Mo Williams added 15 and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Washington Wizards 107-80 on Friday night in the exhibition finale for both teams.

The Cavaliers (3-5) had their highest scoring total of the preseason and committed only nine turnovers in the game at Ohio State's Value City Arena. The Wizards were 2-5 in exhibition play.

Including a reverse layup by James that pulled the Cavaliers even at 37 with 5:27 remaining in the second quarter, Cleveland closed the first half on a 22-2 run to open up a 57-39 lead. James and Ilgauskas each had eight points during the run, and Washington missed seven of eight shots and committed three turnovers.

After averaging 17 turnovers a contest headed into the final regular-season tuneup, the Cavaliers turned the ball over nine times and forced 15 Washington turnovers.

"We talked about taking care of the basketball and not having turnovers," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "I asked the guys if they could keep it below 13 turnovers, and our guys did a heck of a job."

James gave a nod to the Ohio State program by wearing a white Buckeyes T-shirt underneath his warmup shirt. He played 28 minutes after sitting out the previous game. On his way to the locker room, he tossed his shoes into the crowd.

"It means a lot," he said of playing in Columbus on the court where he earned three prep state championships. "Me being here in high school, playing here in March. I'm in love with Ohio State, everything that goes on with the campus, the sporting events, everything. To be able to bring my team here professionally was fun."

The Wizards, playing without injured guard Gilbert Arenas, could not match Cleveland's firepower and struggled to get any sort of rhythm going offensively. Forward Antawn Jamison and Ohio native Antonio Daniels each had 13 points.

Delonte West earned the start at shooting guard in place of Sasha Pavlovic and had two points before spraining his left ankle with 1:40 remaining in the second quarter. Pavlovic finished with eight points, three assists and three rebounds.

West could have gone back in the game if needed, Brown said.

After missing the Cavs' team bus earlier in the day, J.J. Hickson entered the game with 5:46 remaining and finished with two points and two rebounds.

The fourth quarter was delayed for 11 minutes after a member of the Cavaliers' Scream Team dance squad was injured while performing during a timeout. After being attended to by more than a half-dozen medical workers, he was taken off the court on a stretcher and had movement in all his extremities. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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