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CLEVELAND CAVALIERS Despite sexual charge, Jones hits game-winner


Published: Wed, March 8, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.


Damon Jones' 3-point goal at the buzzer lifted the Cavaliers to a 98-97 win.
TORONTO (AP) -- If Damon Jones was distracted by a possible sexual offense charge against him, he sure didn't show it.
Jones made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cleveland Cavaliers their fourth straight victory, 98-97 over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Morris Peterson had given Toronto the lead with a go-ahead 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds left, but a double-teamed LeBron James found a wide-open Jones in the corner for the winning bucket.
A 23-year-old woman, who alleges Jones committed a sexual offense against her, was scheduled to be interviewed on Wednesday by detectives in Arizona.
The woman, recently visiting Ohio, filed a complaint against Jones on Sunday in Chandler, Ariz., police said.
Earlier this week, Jones was interviewed by police.
"My focus is always going to be on basketball. That's No. 1 goal, my No. 1 job. That's how I feed my family," Jones said. "And anything else, I'm going to take it in stride and I deal with it when it comes about."
James scores 35
James had 35 points for the Cavaliers, who also beat Toronto on Tuesday night.
Peterson scored a season-high 31 points and Mike James added 30 for the Raptors, who have lost eight of nine.
After Mike James missed a long jumper as the shot clock was about to expire, Chris Bosh grabbed the rebound and passed it to Peterson, who buried the 3-pointer from the top of the key.
But after a timeout, LeBron James drove toward the basket. Mike James left Jones alone to help Peterson guard LeBron James.
"I was going to live with it if I was the goat or the hero. I'm glad I was the hero," Jones said.
LeBron James said Jones, who has struggled at times in his first season in Cleveland and even been booed at home, had the better shot.
"He's been criticized at times, but I've never lost confidence him. That's why we picked him up. He's a shooter," James said.
Jones is confident
Jones said he never lacks confidence. He had eight points for the Cavaliers, who have won four straight against Toronto.
James repeatedly received foul calls in his favor down the stretch, frustrating the Raptors.
Toronto coach Sam Mitchell took just three questions from the media before leaving in a huff.
"LeBron made a great play, he found the open guy and Damon Jones hit the shot," Mitchell said.
Peterson had 10 points as Toronto led 28-19 after the first quarter, but Cleveland outscored Toronto 31-14 in the second quarter and led 50-42 at halftime.
Bosh was scoreless in the first half, but Toronto began the third quarter on a 8-0 run capped by Bosh's layup and jumper.
Bosh finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Notes
Mitchell was voted worst coach in a poll of 248 NBA players by Sports Illustrated. "In my short year-and-a-half I've coached 248 players?" Mitchell said. "You ask the few players that have played for me and I'm sure they would beg to differ." Peterson said Mitchell has improved. "In only his second year I think he's grown a lot, I've seen a big change from the beginning of last year to now," Peterson said. ... When Mike James saw on television that Canada was beating the United States 8-0 in the World Baseball Classic, he said: "That's not supposed to be happening! That's not right!" Canada won 8-6.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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