NBA Gooden, Ilgauskas combine for 61 points to lead LeBron-less Cavs
Coach Silas expects his star player to be back in uniform Tuesday night.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Drew Gooden scored a career-high 33 points -- 27 in the second half -- and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 28 points and 18 rebounds as the injury-depleted Cleveland Cavaliers survived another day without LeBron James and defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 104-87 on Sunday night.
Ilgauskas and Gooden took over in the second half, scoring 42 of Cleveland's 50 points and adding 16 rebounds after halftime as the Cavaliers improved to an Eastern Conference-best 16-4 at home and 1-1 since losing James.
James sprained his left ankle last week against Memphis and is still too sore to give it a try. Coach Paul Silas expects to have James' 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists per outing back for Tuesday night's game in Orlando.
Michael Redd scored 23 points and Desmond Mason 17 for the Bucks, who were held to a season-low 10 points in the fourth quarter when the Cavs upped their defensive pressure all over the floor.
Jeff McInnis matched a career high with 15 assists for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers dressed only nine players because of injuries and then lost shooting guard Lucious Harris for the second half with a bruised chest. Harris scored nine points in the first half before getting hurt when he ran into an elbow from Milwaukee's Zaza Pachulia.
But Ilgauskas and Gooden, playing some small forward, made sure the Cavs stayed atop the NBA's Central Division by muscling their way inside and getting to the free throw line in the second half.
Gooden had just six points and one rebound in the first 24 minutes.
The Cavs led only 86-81 with 6:33 remaining on two free throws by Ilgauskas. He made two more and converted a three-point play to put the Cavaliers ahead by 10. Robert Traylor then grabbed a key offensive rebound before McInnis hit a jumper and Gooden scored inside to make it 95-85 with 2:43 left.
Gooden then scored Cleveland's final 11 points over the last 2:43 as the Cavs held on.
The Bucks were without forward Keith Van Horn, sidelined with tendinitis in his ankle. Milwaukee has lost three of four.
Redd will be a free agent after the season, an eventuality that has Cavaliers fans dreaming of him joining James. Silas has always been a fan of Redd, whose range makes him an especially tough matchup. "You have to be careful with him at all times," Silas said of the former Ohio State star. "He can get on a roll and hit 10 straight shots." ... The Cavs were also missing starter Ira Newble (Achilles' sprain) and top reserve Anderson Varejao (ankle sprain). ... Van Horn missed 18 games earlier this season with the ankle injury. ... Cleveland's pursuit of some frontline help has stalled. The club was close to signing F Keon Clark to a 10-day contract, but Silas said he's no longer in their plans. ... Cleveland is 14-1 when holding opponents to under 20 points in the fourth.