LeBron James scored 40 points and took over in the fourth quarter as the Cleveland Cavaliers, fueled by a rabid home crowd that booed every move by Noah, maintained home-court advantage by beating the Chicago Bulls, 112-102, last night to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference playoff series.
James added eight rebounds and eight assists for the Cavs, who led 96-93 with 4:30 left before the league's soon-to-be-two-time MVP decided to dominate. He dropped a three-pointer over Noah that he capped with a quick dance move and wink toward Chicago's bench, then made two free throws, a layup and two jumpers, scoring 11 straight as Cleveland opened a 107-98 lead with 1:36 left.
"In Game 1, I was very hesitant and trying to feel out the defense too much," said James, who went 16-for-23 from the field. "They were giving me the jump shot and I just wasn't taking it. I watched a lot of film from Game 1 and knew as soon as I caught it they would back up and I could get an opportunity to shoot a jumper. I just had to take it."
Game 3 is Thursday night in Chicago. - AP