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LeBron scores 40 as Cavaliers take 2-0 lead

The Cleveland Cavaliers made sure Joakim Noah went home without having any fun.

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."

Noah, who criticized Cleveland's lack of downtown activity between Games 1 and 2, had 25 points and 13 rebounds. Derrick Rose added 23 points and Luol Deng had 20 for the Bulls.

Game 3 is Thursday night in Chicago. - AP

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