NBA roundup: LeBron, Cavs in second roun
Published 12:00 am Monday, April 27, 2009
The NBA roundup …AUBURN HILLS, Mich. ó LeBron James made 3-pointers from every angle, drove into the lane for dunks and leaned into low post moves.
He was just getting warmed up ó 2 hours before tipoff ó and his regular routine provided another demonstration of greatness.
James had 36 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 99-78 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, sweeping the Eastern Conference first-round series.
The 24-year-old superstar said his work ethic has been “everything” in a breathtaking career that has surpassed unprecedented hype.
“You’re only born with a certain amount of gifts,” he said. “You have to take advantage of them, and put in the work. My work ethic has helped me be the player I am today.”
Cavs coach Mike Brown said James is a “workaholic,” and relayed an anecdote about his son being in awe of James lifting weights and going through individual drills during last offseason.
“I said, ‘LeBron doesn’t just show up at the game with a Superman outfit on,’ ” Brown recalled saying to his son.
James and the top-seeded Cavs were so efficient against past-its-prime Detroit ó earning the only sweep of this postseason ó they might be off for more than a week, waiting for Atlanta or Miami to advance.
“That’s what happens when you take care of business,” James said.
Detroit, meanwhile, will have its longest offseason since 2001 and about $20 million in salary-cap space to rebuild a once-proud team that fell apart after trading Chauncey Billups in November.
James made his first four shots ó including a windmill dunk ó and helped put the Pistons away for good with a 16-6 run midway through the third quarter.
Mo Williams scored a career playoff-high 24 and Delonte West had 12 points for the Cavs.
Magic 84, 76ers 81
PHILADELPHIA ó Hedo Turkoglu answered the Philadelphia 76ers’ late-game heroics with a big shot of his own.
Turkoglu nailed a 3-pointer over Thaddeus Young with 1.1 seconds left to lift the Orlando Magic to an 84-81 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday, evening their Eastern Conference first-round series at two games apiece.
Dwight Howard had 18 points and 18 rebounds, and every Magic starter scored in double figures. Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis each added 17.
Andre Miller led the Sixers with 17 and Young had 15.
Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Orlando. The teams have alternated wins so far.
Orlando blew 18-point leads in the first two games and nearly allowed the Sixers to overcome a 10-point deficit late in the fourth quarter in this one.