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NBA PLAYOFFS: LeBron takes control, Cavs stay alive

CLEVELAND - LeBron James made a new guarantee: Game 6.

With Cleveland's wondrous season on the line, James had 37 points, 14

rebounds and 12 assists in Game 5 last night, and Mo Williams - who predicted

his team would come back from a 3-1 deficit and win this series - added 24

points in the Cavaliers' 112-102 win over the Magic.

Orlando will host Game 6 tomorrow.

"I mean, this was a big game for us," James said. "You never want to

disappoint the home crowd by not coming out and play as hard as you can. It was

win or go home."

The Magic overcame a 22-point first-quarter deficit and took an eight-point

lead in the third but missed its first opportunity to close out the Cavs,

trying to become just the ninth team since 1947 to win a series after being

down 3-1. Orlando will have two more tries to reach the NBA Finals for the

first time since 1995.

For Cleveland, a city banking on James to deliver a championship after a

45-year drought, the MVP again was in a league of his own. James scored 21

points in the second half - 17 in the fourth quarter - and had a hand in 29 of

Cleveland's 34 points in the final 12 minutes.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 29 for Orlando. Dwight Howard had 24 points and 10

rebounds before fouling out with 2:22 left when he tried to stop James on a

drive.

Not even Superman was denying James. And this time Williams, his trusty

sidekick all season, showed up to help him, as did Zydrunas Ilgauskas (16

points), Delonte West (13) and Daniel Gibson (11). "We'll be back here for Game

7," Gibson told the crowd afterward.

The Magic twice ended series on the road this postseason, winning a Game 6

in Philadelphia and a Game 7 in Boston to make the conference finals. For a

while it looked as if Orlando might do it again, taking a 79-78 lead into the

fourth quarter after having trailed 32-10.

But after James assisted on two three-pointers, Cleveland turned to its

superstar every time down on offense, spreading the floor and forcing the Magic

to defend him. If he wasn't backing down the lane, he was getting to the line

or setting up his teammates from the perimeter. "The game is basically all

LeBron, all the time," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. "If he gets in the

paint, it's automatically a foul. One of the things we have to do, we can't

keep putting him on the line 20 times a game. We have to find a way to stop

that."

New York Sports