Published February 23, 2010
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James had 20 points and 12 assists, and Antawn Jamison scored 18 points in his first start for Cleveland as the Cavaliers beat the New Orleans Hornets 105-95 on Tuesday night and snapped a three-game losing streak.
New Orleans rookies Marcus Thornton and Darren Collison combined for 59 points, including a franchise-record 23 from Thornton in the second quarter.
James, though, closed out another win for Cleveland in the final two minutes, hitting a 3-pointer and finishing a three-point play to escape a huge night from the Hornets' rookies.
Thornton scored a career-high 37 off the bench, igniting a 40-point second quarter for the Hornets by making his first five shots and 10 of 13 in the quarter.
Collison, subbing for an injured Chris Paul, scored 22 points and added 10 assists.
Shaquille O'Neal scored 20 points for Cleveland and Mo Williams, struggling with his shooting all night, broke an 89-all tie with a 3-pointer with 4:13 to play. Cleveland's Delonte West followed with a block of Thornton, then came down to the other end and knocked down another 3 to stretch the Cavaliers' lead to 95-89. James took over from there.
Jamison started in place of J.J. Hickson, who missed the game with flulike symptoms, but coach Mike Brown was leaning toward starting Jamison anyway.
He made an immediate impression, hitting his first shot of the game and later catching a no-look pass from James and finishing with a one-handed dunk, hanging on the rim long enough for teammate Anderson Varejao to wrap his arms around him and catch him in the third quarter.
NOTES: The Cavaliers are asking fans to arrive early for the March 5 game against Detroit to help set the Guinness World Record for "largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets." Each fan will receive a Cavaliers Snuggie which they'll be asked to wear for the first five minutes of the game. A representative of Guiness will be on hand to certify the record. ... Mo Williams is 9 of 33 from the floor since returning from an injured left shoulder. ... F Leon Powe was active for the first time this season. He has been recovering from offseason knee surgery. ... Peja Stojakovic previously held the Hornets record for points in a quarter when he scored 22 in the first against Charlotte on Nov. 14, 2007. ... PG Darren Collison entered averaging 24 points over the last six games, ranking seventh in the NBA during that time.