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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- CLEVELAND 21 33 20 25 99 NEW YORK 27 28 22 20 97 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: CLE - BIMBO COLES 17, ANDRE MILLER 16, MATT HARPRING 16 NYK - ALLAN HOUSTON 25, GLEN RICE 23, LARRY JOHNSON 17

HIGH REBOUND: CLE - CLARENCE WEATHERSPOON 9, MATT HARPRING 6 NYK - MARCUS CAMBY 12, KURT THOMAS 9

HIGH ASSISTS: CLE - WESLEY PERSON 5, ANDRE MILLER 5 NYK - CHARLIE WARD 5, LARRY JOHNSON 4

ATT: 19,763


Extended Box

CLEVELAND (99) AT NEW YORK (97)

CLEVELAND REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

MURRAY F 25 5-9 1-4 1 0 1 1 2 1 2 13 WEATHERSPOON F 29 1-5 1-2 5 4 9 2 1 2 1 3 ILGAUSKAS C 24 2-7 3-6 2 1 3 1 5 1 0 7 HARPRING G 38 7-10 1-2 0 6 6 2 3 1 3 16 MILLER G 22 7-12 2-4 0 2 2 5 1 2 4 16 PERSON 23 5-6 0-0 0 3 3 5 2 0 2 12 COLES 27 7-11 3-3 0 1 1 3 3 2 1 17 GATLING 23 4-7 0-0 0 0 0 3 2 2 3 9 TRAYLOR 19 3-5 0-0 1 2 3 0 3 0 1 6 C HENDERSON 10 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 LANGDON DNP - COACH'S DECISION MIHM DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 41-72 11-21 9 19 28 25 23 12 17 99 (.569) (.524) TEAM REBS: 13 TOTAL TO: 19(21 PTS)

NEW YORK REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

L JOHNSON F 40 7-13 2-2 3 3 6 4 1 0 5 17 RICE F 42 7-13 9-10 0 3 3 2 1 2 1 23 CAMBY C 33 3-13 3-4 5 7 12 1 5 0 1 9 HOUSTON G 42 9-18 7-8 0 2 2 0 2 0 3 25 WARD G 35 3-7 0-0 0 3 3 5 2 2 4 8 THOMAS 22 3-6 2-2 5 4 9 0 3 1 1 8 STRICKLAND 16 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 1 2 1 1 3 CHILDS 10 2-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 4 KNIGHT DNP - COACH'S DECISION POSTELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION SPENCER DNP - COACH'S DECISION SPREWELL DNP - BACK SPASMS

TOTALS 240 35-75 23-26 14 22 36 14 17 6 17 97 (.467) (.885) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 18(21 PTS)

CLEVELAND 21 33 20 25 - 99 NEW YORK 27 28 22 20 - 97

BLOCKED SHOTS: CLEVELAND - TRAYLOR 2, MURRAY. NEW YORK - CAMBY 3, THOMAS 3. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: CLEVELAND 6-7 (.857), MURRAY 2-2, HARPRING 1-2, PERSON 2-2, GATLING 1-1. NEW YORK 4-11 (.364), L JOHNSON 1-2, RICE 0-2, HOUSTON 0-2, WARD 2-4, STRICKLAND 1-1. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, JIM CAPERS, JASON PHILLIPS. A - 19,763. T - 2:09.


Box Score

CLEVELAND (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Murray 25 5-9 1-4 1-1 1 2 13 Weatherspoon 29 1-5 1-2 5-9 2 1 3 Ilgauskas 24 2-7 3-6 2-3 1 5 7 Harpring 38 7-10 1-2 0-6 2 3 16 Miller 22 7-12 2-4 0-2 5 1 16 Person 23 5-6 0-0 0-3 5 2 12 Coles 27 7-11 3-3 0-1 3 3 17 Gatling 23 4-7 0-0 0-0 3 2 9 Traylor 19 3-5 0-0 1-3 0 3 6 C Henderson 10 0-0 0-0 0-0 3 1 0 Langdon DNP - coach's decision Mihm DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-72 11-21 9-28 25 23 99 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.569, FT-.524. 3-Point Goals: 6-7, .857 (Murray 2-2, Harpring 1-2, Person 2-2, Gatling 1-1). Team rebounds: 13. Blocked shots: 3 (Traylor 2, Murray). Turnovers: 19 (Miller 4, Gatling 3, Harpring 3, Murray 2, Person 2, Coles, Traylor, Weatherspoon). Steals: 12 (Coles 2, Gatling 2, Miller 2, Weatherspoon 2, C Henderson, Harpring, Ilgauskas, Murray).

NEW YORK (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp L Johnson 40 7-13 2-2 3-6 4 1 17 Rice 42 7-13 9-10 0-3 2 1 23 Camby 33 3-13 3-4 5-12 1 5 9 Houston 42 9-18 7-8 0-2 0 2 25 Ward 35 3-7 0-0 0-3 5 2 8 Thomas 22 3-6 2-2 5-9 0 3 8 Strickland 16 1-2 0-0 1-1 1 2 3 Childs 10 2-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 4 Knight DNP - coach's decision Postell DNP - coach's decision Spencer DNP - coach's decision Sprewell DNP - back spasms _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-75 23-26 14-36 14 17 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.467, FT-.885. 3-Point Goals: 4-11, .364 (L Johnson 1-2, Rice 0-2, Houston 0-2, Ward 2-4, Strickland 1-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 6 (Camby 3, Thomas 3). Turnovers: 18 (L Johnson 5, Ward 4, Houston 3, Camby, Childs, Rice, Strickland, Thomas). Steals: 6 (Rice 2, Ward 2, Strickland, Thomas). ____________________________________________ Cleveland 21 33 20 25 - 99 New York 27 28 22 20 - 97 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,763. T: 2:09. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Jim Capers, Jason Phillips.


Game Story

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA's best-kept early season secret, took Madison Square Garden by storm.

Bimbo Coles scored 17 points off the bench to lead five players in double figures as the unbeaten Cavaliers pulled out a 99-97 victory over the New York Knicks.

After a dismal 32-50 campaign last season, Cleveland has reeled off four straight wins -- by a total of 10 points -- and is off to its best start since the 1988-89 campaign.

Balanced scoring has been the key to Cleveland's early success, with six players averaging between 9.7 and 13.3 points per game entering tonight. The Cavaliers did not deviate from that formula at "The World's Most Famous Arena."

"We've won some tough games," Coles said. "And we've won some ugly games. But as long as we keep up our intensity and not get down on ourselves, we can be a successful team."

Matt Harpring and Andre Miller scored 16 points apiece, Lamond Murray added 13 and Wesley Person 12 as the Cavaliers' attack wilted the Knicks down the stretch.

"Resiliency and not we're not looking for one player to step up," Cleveland coach Randy Wittman responded when asked to explain his club's fast start. "We have our ups and downs but after watching my team for the last four games, we've come up positive and on the winning side."

Trailing 86-85 with after Kurt Thomas' layup with 5:48 to play, Cleveland took command. Zydrunas Ilgauskas made a free throw, Robert Traylor hit a four-foot hook in the lane and Person followed another free throw by Ilgauskas with a 24-footer, giving the Cavs a 92-86 lead with just under three minutes left.

"We're executing really well down the stretch, which is something I demand if we want to win games," Wittman said. "I'm not surprised by our fast start because I stressed from training camp to play hard on both sides of the ball and make all of the big shots."

Allan Houston had 18 of his 25 points in the first half and Glen Rice added 23 in his first start of the season for New York, which was without starting explosive swingman Latrell Sprewell (back spasms).

"We missed Latrell," New York coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "But everybody has injuries in this league."

"We really did not have enough (defensive) stops in the fourth quarter," Houston said. "These are the types of games we should win but we blew it."

Knicks reserve point guard Chris Childs left in the second period with a bruised right hamstring and did not return.

Cleveland was outrebounded, 36-28, committed 19 turnovers and was just 11-of-21 from the line but shot a blistering 57 percent (41-of-72). Coles made 7-of-11 shots in 27 minutes.

"(Coles) comes off the bench as our stabilizer to keep the team under control," Wittman said. "He cut the lead late in the game and found his teammmates for the open jumpers. The bench came up big tonight, they contributed on both sides. I'm happy with the way they moved the ball around."

Houston, who was 7-of-10 from the floor in the first half, buried a jumper just before intermission that gave the Knicks a 55-54 lead. He was 2-of-8 thereafter and New York seemed to follow its shooting guard's lead, going 14-of-38 from the floor over the final 24 minutes.

Larry Johnson scored 17 points and Marcus Camby had nine points on 3-of-13 shooting and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who finished at 47 percent (35-of-75) and yielded 21 points off turnovers.

"The turnovers were a big factor in tonight's game," Van Gundy said. "We made too many turnovers at the wrong time. We did not pick up each other on defense really well and made too many mistakes on defense down the stretch."

The Knicks were 4-of-11 from beyond the arc while the Cavs made 6-of-7 3-pointers.

The game featured 15 lead changes and nine ties but swung in Cleveland's favor down the stretch.

"They made their open shots tonight down the stretch," Van Gundy said. "And we gave them too many easy layups and second chances that really hurt us."

After Person stretched the advantage to six with his 3-pointer, Camby made a layup and Rice hit two free throws to get the Knicks back within 92-90 with 1:51 left.

But Ilgauskas made a free throw and Coles beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer with 49 seconds to go, giving Cleveland a 95-90 lead. Johnson's follow shot was answered by two more free throws from Coles as the Cavs sealed their latest narrow victory.

"We blew some coverage on defense," Johnson said. "We can't win if we let teams shoot 57 percent, like (Philadelphia) and Cleveland did if we want to win. It's disturbing to lose the way we did in both (home) games. It's tough to take."

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