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LeBron scores 33 points as Cavs rough up the Pistons

LEBRON James was a cheerleader when the Cleveland Cavaliers took over against the Detroit Pistons.

Then, the superstar finished them off.

James scored 33 points and got some timely help from Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson in Cleveland's 90-80 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

"It's been different this season because we have guys who can control the offense and control the defense," James said. "There's not been a time this season when I felt pressure to not come off the floor.

"I know these guys can take care of things."

With James resting, Williams and Gibson outscored Detroit by themselves in a 15-2 run to take a 73-68 lead early in the fourth quarter.

James shouted, "C'mon Mo! C'mon Mo!" from the scorer's table during the final possession of the winning surge, then celebrated with Williams after his jumper led to Detroit calling a timeout.

The 24-year-old phenom sealed the victory on a driving layup, an assist, 3-pointer and free throw to put the Cavs ahead by nine with 2 1/2 minutes left.

The Central Division-leading Cavs have won six of their last seven and are 12 games ahead of Detroit. They had lost four straight at The Palace in the regular season.

"This is a good win in a building where we've always had a lot of trouble," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "It seems like they've had our number here, so this feels good."

The Pistons haven't felt good in a while, losing four straight home games for the first time in eight years.

Allen Iverson scored 22 points for Detroit, which has lost nine of 12.

"I'm surprised, but I've seen the flashes of how good we can be," Iverson said. "And, I see the reasons that we lose games."

Rookie coach Michael Curry, though, has plenty to be worried about.

"Success breeds confidence," he said.

Detroit dooms its chances in many games with lackluster stretches offensively and defensively, looking out of sync as they struggle to play with Iverson in the starting lineup and Richard Hamilton coming off the bench.

In other games, it was: Magic 113, Raptors 90; Celtics 109, Timberwolves 101; and Kings 122, Thunder 118, OT.

In Toronto, Dwight Howard had 29 points and 14 rebounds, and Jameer Nelson added 18 points as Orlando beat Toronto.

Mickael Pietrus scored 22 points and Rashard Lewis had 15 for the Magic, who led by as many as 24 and have won three straight following back-to-back losses to Boston and Miami.

Jose Calderon scored 16 points for Toronto and reserve Joey Graham had 14.

In Boston, Paul Pierce had 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Ray Allen scored 22 as Boston beat Minnesota.

Boston led by as many as 21 in the third quarter, 71-50, before Minnesota scored 15 of the next 17 points. The Timberwolves got within five in the fourth quarter, 94-89, with 5:20 left, but Allen hit a jumper and Pierce made a pair of free throws to make it a nine-point game.


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