LeBron Hurt As Pistons Blow Out Cavs

Thursday, November 29th 2007, 7:14 am
By: News On 6

The last time LeBron James was in suburban Detroit, he turned in one of the best playoff performances in NBA history.

This time he couldn't make it out of the first half.

James sprained his left index finger in the second quarter Wednesday night, and did not return, and the Detroit Pistons went on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-74 Wednesday night.

The Pistons insisted the victory didn't mean any less even though it came against a team missing its first, second and third option on offense.

``A win is a win,'' said Richard Hamilton, who led Detroit with 18 points. ``LeBron is a big part of their team, but they've still got five guys with an NBA jersey on the court.''

James had scored 48 points, including the final 25 for his team, to lead the Cavs to a win in Game 5 of the conference finals last season. He helped them win the next game at home to reach the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history.

The Cavs said James' X-rays were negative, adding he would be evaluated again Thursday.

``I think he's day to day,'' Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. ``We'll see how he is tomorrow before we worry about anything beyond that.''

James returned to Cleveland's bench late in the third quarter, sporting a suit and turtleneck, with tape wrapped around his index and middle fingers on his non-shooting hand. Late in the half, ice was packed and wrapped briefly over his left hand.

James did not respond to a few questions as he walked to the team bus after the game carrying a pizza.

In other NBA games Wednesday night, it was: Atlanta 96, Milwaukee 80; Utah 106, Philadelphia 95; Toronto 103, Memphis 91; San Antonio 109, Washington 94; Dallas 109, Minnesota 103; Houston 100, Phoenix 94; Orlando 110, Seattle 94; Indiana 95, Portland 89; and Golden State 103, Sacramento 96.

James appeared to be injured with 4:41 left in the first half, when Detroit center Nazr Mohammed fouled him.

``I didn't hit him that hard, but it's easy to sprain a finger,'' Mohammed said. ``I'm sure he'll be OK.''

James made both free throws and stayed in the game.

He had 15 points and three assists in the first half, accounting for more than one-third of the Cavs' points.

James had been sensational recently, including Tuesday night in an overtime win over Boston, and entered the game averaging 31.7 points, 8.5 assists and eight rebounds this season.

Mavericks 109, Timberwolves 103

At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points and 11 rebounds, Devin Harris scored 22 points, and the Mavericks snapped a three-game losing streak.

Nowitzki scored eight points in the final 5:41, six from the free-throw line where he converted all 13 attempts.

Al Jefferson had a season-high 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Warriors 103, Kings 96

At Sacramento, Calif., Stephen Jackson made two 3-pointers in a 20-second span late in the fourth quarter and Monta Ellis had 22 points to rally Golden State past Sacramento.

Jackson finished with 21 points.

Kevin Martin had 28 points and seven rebounds for the Kings, who have lost four of five games.

Spurs 109, Wizards 94

At San Antonio, Tony Parker had 29 points and 11 assists to help San Antonio beat Washington.

Manu Ginobili added 19 points and Tim Duncan had 16 for the Spurs.

Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, who have stepped up for the Wizards since guard Gilbert Arenas went out last week for three months following knee surgery, combined to go just 9-for-24 from the field for 28 points. Brendan Haywood scored a season-high 19 points for Washington.

Magic 110, SuperSonics 94

At Seattle, Dwight Howard dunked, blocked and dominated Seattle's undersized frontline for a career-high 39 points and 16 rebounds, and Orlando got its NBA-best 14th win.

No matter the combination Seattle used to try and stymie Howard, it didn't work. The powerful center made 12 of 17 shots, including nine dunks, and found his way to the free-throw line 20 times, making 15.

He had 30 points and 13 rebounds by the end of the third quarter, and recorded his 14th double-double of the season.

Seattle lost its sixth straight and remained the only winless team at home in the NBA. Kevin Durant scored 22 for the Sonics and Wally Szczerbiak added 20.

Pacers 95, Trail Blazers 89

At Portland, Ore., Mike Dunleavy had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Indiana beat Portland for the eighth straight time.

Portland's Travis Outlaw narrowed it to 89-86 with a turnaround jumper with less than a minute left, but Jamaal Tinsley's 18-foot-jumper with 24.9 seconds remaining made it 91-86 and sealed it.

Outlaw led the Blazers with 26 points.

Jazz 106, 76ers 95

At Philadelphia, Carlos Boozer scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead Utah.

Ronnie Brewer added 19 points and Mehmet Okur had 16. Deron Williams had 15 points and 15 assists for the Jazz (11-5).

Andre Iguodala led the Sixers with 20 points while Andre Miller added 16.

Hawks 96, Bucks 80

At Atlanta, Josh Childress scored six points in a 13-2 run midway through the final quarter and Atlanta broke open a close game to get a rare win over Milwaukee.

Joe Johnson led six players in double figures with 21 points and Atlanta won for the fourth time in its past 13 games against Milwaukee. The Hawks' bench outscored the Bucks' reserves 43-7.

Michael Redd had 24 points and Mo Williams added 23 for the Bucks.

Raptors 103, Grizzlies 91

At Toronto, Anthony Parker scored 19 points and Jose Calderon added 13 points and 10 assists to help Toronto pick up a costly win.

The Raptors lost Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani to injury. Bosh left in the second quarter because of a strained right groin and did not return. Bargnani also limped off and did not return after a right-knee bruise when he collided with Stromile Swift early in the fourth.

Juan Carlos Navarro scored 15 points and Pau Gasol added 13 for the Grizzlies.