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James gives Cavaliers 1-0 edge

Cavs 20 23 36 22 101
Celtics 26 28 24 15 93
Cavaliers lead series 1-0

CLEVELAND — The night before receiving his second straight MVP award, LeBron James scored 35 as the Cavaliers rallied to beat the Celtics 101-93 Saturday in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

James, playing with a sprained and bruised right elbow, delivered a memorable performance after the Cavs fell behind by 11 at halftime. After the Cavs outscored Boston 36-24 in the third quarter, James drained a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left that iced it.

Boston had pulled to 98-93, then James buried a 3-pointer that finally allowed 20,000 Cleveland fans to exhale.

James tried just two outside shots in the first half, but the elbow appeared healthy when he needed it to respond.

"Throughout the game it loosened up," said James, who will receive his MVP trophy today in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. "I have a no-excuse policy. This team has a no-excuse policy. … We're about coming out and competing against the Celtics."

BOSTON (93): Pierce 5-17 2-2 13, Garnett 9-20 0-0 18, Perkins 4-7 1-2 9, Rondo 7-10 12-14 27, R.Allen 6-14 0-0 14, Davis 2-5 1-2 5, Wallace 1-5 0-0 2, T.Allen 2-2 1-1 5, Finley 0-1 0-0 0, Daniels 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-81 17-21 93.

CLEVELAND (101): James 12-24 8-11 35, Jamison 2-6 3-6 7, O'Neal 4-12 3-4 11, M.Williams 8-14 4-5 20, Parker 1-3 0-0 2, Ilgauskas 0-1 0-0 0, West 4-6 0-0 8, Varejao 1-4 2-2 4, Moon 1-1 0-0 3, Hickson 5-7 1-3 11. Totals 38-78 21-31 101.

3-Point GoalsBoston 4-16 (R.Allen 2-7, Rondo 1-1, Pierce 1-6, Finley 0-1, Wallace 0-1), Cleveland 4-12 (James 3-6, Moon 1-1, Parker 0-1, Jamison 0-1, M.Williams 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBoston 49 (Perkins 11), Cleveland 50 (Jamison 9). AssistsBoston 20 (Rondo 12), Cleveland 18 (James 7). Total FoulsBoston 25, Cleveland 17. TechnicalsT.Allen. A20,562.

Lakers-Jazz: Today's Western Conference semifinal opener in Los Angeles is a quick turnaround for these teams, which will meet in the playoffs for the third year in a row. The Lakers advanced late Friday when Pau Gasol tipped in Kobe Bryant's missed jumper with a half-second left to eliminate Oklahoma City 95-94 in Game 6. Meanwhile, the Jazz got a double double of 22 points and 20 rebounds from Carlos Boozer to oust the Nuggets 112-104 late Friday in a Game 6. The Lakers, who took this season's series 3-1, knocked off the Jazz in the second round in 2008 and rolled in five games in the first round last year.

Bucks-Hawks, Game 7: Even though he has been in the league for a decade, the Hawks' Jamal Crawford had been playing like a rookie in this playoff series against the Bucks. Jittery. In a shooting slump. Until Friday, when he scored 24 to force today's Game 7 in Atlanta: "I felt like I was blocking my own shots, throwing myself off by putting too much pressure on myself instead of just having fun."

James gives Cavaliers 1-0 edge 05/01/10 [Last modified: Sunday, May 2, 2010 12:14am]
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