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Cavs Usher Out a Losing Streak

Associated Press
Wednesday, March 9, 2005; Page D06

The postgame scene in Cleveland's crowded locker room last night was much more MTV than NBA.

R&B superstar Usher, mega-hit producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri, new Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert and others mingled with players as television camera crews captured every moment for posterity.

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There was reason to celebrate: The host Cavaliers had won again. LeBron James scored 23 points and Gooden had 23 more in his return to Cleveland's starting lineup as the Cavaliers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 111-92 win over the Orlando Magic.

Cheered on by minority owner Usher, who grabbed a microphone and boldly guaranteed a victory in the second quarter, the Cavaliers won for the first time since Feb. 23. But it had seemed much longer ago as Cleveland's longest losing skid this season had dropped the club back in the Eastern Conference standings.

"We needed this win," James said. "Everybody stepped up. We were slipping back and it had to stop."

KINGS 85, GRIZZLIES 82: Mike Bibby's long three-pointer as time expired was upheld on a controversial video review, and Sacramento won at home. Peja Stojakovic's inbounds pass with 1.4 seconds left was tipped by James Posey, but the clock didn't start until Bibby grabbed the ball, turned and hit an amazing three-pointer from several feet behind the line.

ROCKETS 97, SUPERSONICS 95: In Seattle, Tracy McGrady had 35 points and Yao Ming added 16 of his 22 points in the second half, leading Houston to a dramatic win. Houston outscored the Sonics 22-6 in the third period -- with those six points setting franchise records for both teams.

BUCKS 105, HAWKS 101: Mo Williams had 22 points and 10 assists, and Desmond Mason also scored 22 points to lead Milwaukee at home. Tyronn Lue had a season-high 27 points for Atlanta, loser of 22 straight road games and 11 in a row overall.

WARRIORS 104, 76ERS 85: Jason Richardson scored 22 points and Mike Dunleavy added 21 to lead Golden State to just its eighth road win of the season. Troy Murphy scored 17 points and Mickael Pietrus had 14 for the Warriors, who are last in the Pacific Division.

• TIMBERWOLVES 102, BOBCATS 97: Kevin Garnett refused to let expansion Charlotte pull off a season sweep in Minnesota. Garnett scored 22 of his 30 points in the second half, carrying the Timberwolves to victory.

Behind a dominating third-quarter effort by Garnett, who also had 15 rebounds and four blocks, the Timberwolves shook off a sluggish first half to win their third in a row and fourth in five games.

CLIPPERS 110, LAKERS 101: In Los Angeles, Corey Maggette scored 30 points, Elton Brand had 22 points and 15 rebounds, and the Clippers beat the Lakers despite Kobe Bryant's 41 points.

Bobby Simmons added 16 points, Chris Kaman scored 12 and Rick Brunson had 10 for the Clippers (27-34), who won for just the fourth time in 15 games and beat the Lakers for only the fifth time in the last 33 games between the teams.

PACERS 89, JAZZ 83: Stephen Jackson scored 30 points and Indiana rallied to win after blowing a 25-point lead in Salt Lake City. Reggie Miller finished with 24 points in his final game at Utah, a contest that nearly turned into an embarrassing loss.

Indiana scored the first 13 points of the game and held Utah without a field goal for the first 6:20. But after going up by 25 in the first half, the Pacers let the Jazz back into it and had to come back after falling behind by three in the final minutes.

SPURS 90, NETS 74: Tim Duncan made a quick return to San Antonio's lineup after leaving his previous game with an injury, and had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the Spurs at home. Reserve guard Devin Brown had a game-high 22 points for the Spurs.


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