Bobcats beat struggling Jamison, Cavaliers 110-93

Published February 19, 2010

| AP

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Stephen Jackson scored 29 points and the Charlotte Bobcats took advantage of Antawn Jamison's miserable debut for Cleveland in a 110-93 victory Friday night to send the Cavaliers to their second straight loss.

Two days after being acquired from Washington, Jamison came off the bench and went 0 for 12 from the field. He was blocked five times and tossed up two airballs, while looking out of sync with his new teammates.

The Bobcats used a big run to end the third quarter to beat the Cavaliers, the team with the NBA's best record, for a third straight time and take the series 3-1 in a possible first-round playoff preview.

LeBron James had 22 points and nine assists for Cleveland a night after being the first player in NBA history with at least 43 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists, two steals and four blocks.

It wasn't the way Jamison had envisioned the return to his hometown. At least he didn't go scoreless.

While coach Mike Brown had pulled James and Shaquille O'Neal, Jamison hit two free throws with 41 seconds left for his only points.

By then the Cavs, who allowed the Bobcats to shoot 55 percent, had been run over by their surprising nemesis — who three days earlier lost at home to the NBA-worst New Jersey Nets.

Boris Diaw had 18 points and nine assists, Gerald Wallace had 17 points and eight rebounds and Tyrus Thomas had nine points and 12 rebounds a day after being acquired from Chicago as the Bobcats moved a game above .500.

Delonte West came off the bench to score 13 points for Cleveland. Mo Williams added 12 in his return to the starting lineup after being out with a shoulder injury, but he had only one assist. Shaquille O'Neal had 10 points and seven rebounds on 4-of-9 shooting.

A night after their 13-game winning streak was snapped by Denver while Jamison watched, coach Mike Brown announced before the game that Jamison would at least temporarily come off the bench.

J.J. Hickson kept his starting job at power forward, but Jamison checked in after the first timeout with 5:09 left in the first quarter.

It wasn't pretty, as he promptly missed a 3-pointer and had another shot blocked by Theo Ratliff, acquired by Charlotte a day earlier.

It didn't get any better for Jamison in the first half, that ended tied at 50. Looking out of sync, a step slow and way off with his shot, Jamison was 0 for 8 with four of his shots blocked. He also tossed up two airballs, the last a 3-pointer attempt at the buzzer to end the first half.

The Bobcats were also working in their new players. Thomas, acquired to bolster their front court, made two key plays in the third quarter.

Thomas' driving dunk and block of Anderson Varejao came in Charlotte's 17-4 run that put Charlotte ahead 82-68 entering the fourth quarter.

James, who had a triple-double a night earlier but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer in a loss to Denver, hit 6 of 14 shots. He stepped on Diaw's foot midway through the second quarter and hobbled to the bench.

He didn't miss any time, but it was Jackson that dominated the second half.

Taking it strong to the basket, the Cavaliers were often forced to foul. His three-point play with 5:16 left put Charlotte ahead 100-85 and marked the fourth time in five games Cleveland had allowed 100 points or more.

NOTES: Bobcats owner Bob Johnson sat courtside, but continued to avoid reporters. NBA commissioner David Stern said last week he expected the team to be sold in 60 days, perhaps to co-owner Michael Jordan, who wasn't courtside. ... Bobcats C Tyson Chandler (ankle) didn't dress. ... Jamison had about 40 tickets for the game. His parents were among family members in the stands. ... Cavaliers G Sebastian Telfair, acquired in the Jamison deal, didn't make the trip. Brown said he's "weeks" away from returning from a groin injury.

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