2008 NBA Playoffs R1G2: A near Triple-Double and a 2-0 lead »

Apr 22, 2008 at 1:09 am | lebron-jamesnba-basketball

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ extreme makeover is complete. For more than two months since a colossal trade dismantled the defending Eastern Conference champions, Cleveland has waited for the game where its team of mixed parts and new faces finally molded into a legitimate NBA title contender. It happened. Maybe Gilbert Arenas was talking about some other Cavaliers a few weeks back. The team he faced Monday night doesn’t look so beatable. LeBron James scored 30 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 16, and the Cavs played their best game since the Feb. 21 megatrade, blowing out the Washington Wizards 116-86 to take a 2-0 lead in an opening-round playoff series oozing with bad blood. The 30-point margin of victory was the largest in Cleveland’s 112-game postseason history, and the Cavaliers’ performance was perhaps their finest 48 minutes since November. James was scary all right. He scored 14 points in the third quarter when the Cavs opened a 25-point lead over the Wizards, whose defensive scheme coming into their third series in as many years with Cleveland was to slow the superstar by roughing him up with hard, clean fouls. It may be time for Plan B. The Wizards hardly bothered James, who finished with 12 assists and nine rebounds, barely missing his third career postseason triple-double. With his team up by 15 at halftime, Brown began reminding his team about the importance of staying aggressive. He only got in a few words. “I didn’t say anything,” Brown said. “LeBron James did. LeBron started talking, I just left and the guys just followed his lead.” Via nba.com. Click here to see the highligths.

Source: nba.com, yahoo.com, getty | From LeBron_NBA_20…

Photos Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE via Getty Images. Photos by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images, Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images, Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

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