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James spurs Cavs past Bulls, 91-72


Published: Sun, March 5, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.


He scored 37 points, 27 in the second half to lead the way.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Don't tug on Superman's cape. Don't touch LeBron James' headband. Those are the rules.
Next time, the Chicago Bulls will know better.
James scored 27 of his 37 points in the second half, and took exception to the Bulls knocking his headband askew as the Cleveland Cavaliers had one of their best performances since the All-Star break, a 91-72 win over Chicago on Sunday night.
James scored eight points, including two on a ridiculous dunk, as the Cavs opened the fourth with 11 straight points to go up by 14. James had 16 points in the fourth, outscoring the Bulls, who dared mess with his headband.
"That's like my cape," James said. "If you knock a superhero's cape off they get very angry."
Cavs sweep series
Playing all but 1 minute, 33 seconds, James added nine rebounds and seven assists as Cleveland went 4-0 against Chicago this season. It's the first time the Cavs swept a season series against the Bulls since going 3-0 in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season.
Drew Gooden added 13 points and 11 rebounds and Anderson Varejao added 13 boards for Cleveland.
Ben Gordon had 17 points, and Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng 15 apiece for the Bulls, who could do little but watch James take over in the fourth.
"LeBron was able to get off on us a little, and we didn't do a good job of stopping him," Hinrich said. "He's made big plays against us all season."
Dominated Bulls
In Cleveland's four wins over Chicago, James averaged 34.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists.
After blowing a 25-point lead in a win at Chicago last week, once the Cavs finally opened a sizable advantage they never gave it back. Cleveland was only up 63-60 entering the fourth before their 11-0 burst.
The Bulls closed within eight, but Eric Snow hit a baseline jumper and Flip Murray buried a 3-pointer to make it 79-66 with 4:55 remaining.
"We got up by double digits, and in everyone's mind was what happened on Thursday when they made their run," James said. "I didn't want that to happen again."
James fed Donyell Marshall for nearly identical 3-pointers from the corner late in the third period as the Cavs pushed their lead to 63-60 entering the fourth.
On Cleveland's second possession of the final period, Marshall hit another 3 from the same spot to put the Cavs ahead by eight. Then, James knifed between two defenders near the foul line, blasted down the lane and dunked to make it 70-60 with 10:33 left.
Bulls led at halftime
Led by Darius Songaila's 14 points and 56 percent shooting from the floor, the Bulls led 42-40 at halftime. But Songaila didn't score in the second half and Chicago cooled off, too, going just 12-of-35 in the second half.
"We just couldn't hit shots," Deng said. "We had good looks but they weren't falling and we kept turning the ball over."
The first LeBron-leave-you-shaking-your-head moment came in the second quarter when he sprinted down the right side, filled the lane and soared for an alley-oop pass from Snow for a ferocious two-handed slam.


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