Cavaliers down Celtics

Cleveland overcome an off night by LeBron James and the Boston Celtics.

    LeBron James adds to his highlight reel [AFP]

    LeBron James managed just 21 points on another off-shooting night, but he was assisted by Delonte West who added 21 and Joe Smith’s 17 point haul as the Cleveland Cavaliers raced to a large, early lead in a 108-84 Game 3 victory over the road-challenged Boston Celtics.

    James was only 5-of-16 from the floor, but his teammates stepped it up, going a combined 32-of-54 (59 percent) to pull the Cavaliers within 2-1 in the second-round series.

    Cleveland roared to a 32-13 lead after one quarter, led by 17 at half, 16 after three and easily withstood a few Boston counter punches.

    Game 4 is Monday night in Cleveland, where the Celtics will again try for their first road win of this postseason.

    Kevin Garnett scored 17 points, Paul Pierce 14 and Ray Allen 10 as Boston's Big 3 of superstars combined for 41 points.

    But the trio was no match for Cleveland's Fab Four of West, Wally Szczerbiak, Smith and Ben Wallace, all acquired in deals at the February 21 trading deadline, who totaled 63 points, 20 rebounds and six 3-pointers.

    West made four 3s, Smith went 7-of-8 and Wallace, who wasn't expected to play because of an inner ear infection, gave Cleveland an inside presence while guarding Garnett.

    Pistons 90, Magic 89

    At Orlando, Florida, Richard Hamilton scored 32 points and Hedo Turkoglu missed a layup with time running out as Detroit took a 3-1 lead over Orlando in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    Tayshaun Prince scored 17 for Detroit, including an 11-foot runner for the go-ahead basket with 8.9 seconds left.

    Rasheed Wallace had 16 points and eight rebounds.

    The Pistons won despite playing without All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups, held out after straining his hamstring in Thursday's game, and can wrap up the series in Game 5 on Tuesday.

    Turkoglu scored 20 points for Orlando, which squandered a 15-point lead in the third quarter.

    Rashard Lewis, Maurice Evans and Jameer Nelson all had 15 points.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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