Wizards are no match for Cavaliers this time

The Baltimore Sun

On their way to the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers gave the Washington Wizards something to savor for summer.

LeBron James scored 21 points before spending the fourth quarter playing air guitar on the bench as the Cavaliers avenged an embarrassing loss to one of the league's weakest teams by thumping the Wizards, 98-86, on Wednesday night to improve to 38-1 at home.

The win lowered Cleveland's magic number for locking up home-court advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs to one.

None of that matters to James right now.

"We're just trying to get better," he said. "We don't want to take a step back with four games to go."

Mo Williams had 14 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas 13 rebounds for the Cavs (63-15).

Nick Young scored 16 to lead Washington (18-61), which stunned Cleveland last week and handed the Cavs two of their 15 losses this season. The Wizards' Gilbert Arenas didn't play, choosing to rest his surgically repaired right knee.

With Arenas and Brendan Haywood back in the lineup, and a Washington crowd fired up, the Wizards shocked the Cavaliers, 109-101, last Thursday.

Nuggets 122, Thunder 112: : Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) scored 31 points, helping host Denver (53-26) stave off Oklahoma City (21-57) for its eighth straight win. The Nuggets inched closer to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Trail Blazers 95, Spurs 83: : Brandon Roy scored 26 points and visiting Portland took a big stride in the race for home-court advantage with a victory over San Antonio. Clawing back from an early 19-point deficit, the Trail Blazers won in San Antonio for the first time since 2002. Portland moved into a three-way tie with San Antonio and Houston for the third-best record (50-28) in the Western Conference.

Suns 105, Hornets 100: : Steve Nash had 24 points and 13 assists, and visiting Phoenix (43-35) survived a late scare by New Orleans (48-30), which received 29 points and 16 assists from Chris Paul.

Celtics 106, Nets 104: : Rajon Rondo had 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists, and host Boston (59-19) overcame an early 10-point deficit to beat New Jersey (32-46).

Magic 81, Grizzlies 78: : Hedo Turkoglu scored 20 points and host Orlando (58-20) rallied to beat pesky Memphis (22-56). Rudy Gay (Archbishop Spalding) had 18 points for the Grizzlies.

Pistons 113, Knicks 86: : Richard Hamilton had 22 points and Detroit (38-40) rolled into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference by beating host New York (30-49).

Hawks 113, Bucks 105: : Joe Johnson scored 30 points and made a pair of big shots down the stretch as Atlanta (45-34) won at Milwaukee (32-47).

Pacers 130, Raptors 101: : Danny Granger scored 29 points and host Indiana (34-44) had its top point total and margin of victory of the season, beating Toronto (30-48).

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