New York (5-11) at Cleveland (9-5)
November 29, 2006 6:45pm CST
LeBron James is the face of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he's been getting solid contributions from his teammates in key situations lately. James and company look to win their seventh straight home game Wednesday when the Cavaliers host the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland (9-5) has won its last two games over New York (5-11), including a 102-96 road victory Nov. 13 that featured a breakout game from Damon Jones, who came off the bench to score 29 points on 7-of-10 shooting from 3-point range and has played well ever since. Jones entered the game against New York averaging just 4.5 points on 31.3 percent shooting in his first six games. Since that game, though, the nine-year veteran is averaging 13.9 points on 50 percent shooting from the field, including 43.8 percent from 3-point range (21-of-48). In the Cavs' 108-95 home victory Saturday over Philadelphia, Zydrunas Ilgauskas came up with a huge performance. After scoring a season-low two points in their loss Friday to Indiana, Ilgauskas had season highs of 18 points, 15 rebounds -- including a franchise record-tying 12 offensive -- and five blocks. "'Z' did a tremendous job," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "He got on the ground three or four times going after loose balls, that's a heck of an effort for a guy that's 7-foot-3. His points and rebounds were tremendous, but his five blocks is what I like to see." James had 25 points and 11 assists against the 76ers, and had 29 points against the Knicks earlier this season. He's averaging 33.7 points in his last three games against New York. Brown expects guard Larry Hughes to play after missing the last six games with a high ankle sprain. Hughes started the first eight games of the season, averaging 13.8 points. The Cavs are off to a 7-1 start at Quicken Loans Arena after going 31-10 at home last season. They have been winning most of their games fairly easily during their six-game home winning streak, with three of the last four by at least 13 points. Cleveland split its two games with the Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena last season, but has won 12 of its last 15 home games against them. The Knicks are 4-5 on the road after winning just eight road games all of last season -- tied for second-fewest in the league. New York lost at Chicago, 102-85, on Tuesday to drop both games of a home-and-home series with the Bulls. They turned the ball over 23 times Tuesday after turning it over 26 times Saturday. Stephon Marbury played the entire fourth quarter, but missed all three of his shots and committed three of his five turnovers as New York was outscored 31-17 in the final 12 minutes. Marbury finished with seven points on 2-of-13 shooting after not taking a shot for the first time in his career and scoring no points in 19 minutes Saturday. "I don't have the ball as much as I normally do," said Marbury, who is averaging 6.6 points and shooting 36 percent in his last seven games. "We had three guards in there tonight. Any one of us can have the ball. I'm used to having the ball. It's an adjustment." Forward Quentin Richardson missed Tuesday's game with a strained left hamstring, and is listed as day-to-day. Richardson averaged 13.7 points while starting the first 15 games.