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Game #31 - Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Lakers Christmas Day Game Thread

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2009/2010 NBA Regular Season
VS
23-4 22-8
December 25, 2009
ARCO Arena
5:00 PM et
Radio - WTAM 1100 / ABC HD
Probable starters:
Derek Fisher PG Mo Williams
Kobe Bryant SG Anthony Parker
Ron Artest SF LeBron James
Pau Gasol PF J.J. Hickson
Andrew Bynum C Shaquille O'Neal

Merry Christmas! If a full dy of food, fun and family isn't enough, a hearty helping of Cavaliers Basketball should be a great dessert. The Wine and Gold end their 4-game road trip with a holiday visit to Kobe and the Lakers.

Coming off one the best games of his career, 34/16/10 against the Kings, LeBron James looks primed and ready for the National TV showdown. The Lakers are ready too, having gone 16-1 over their last 17 games.

So, sit back, put another log in the fire and get ready for some Christmas Day basketball, Cavs-Lakers style!

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GAME NOTES -->

  • Cleveland has won seven of their last eight games and entering today's game against the Lakers, the Cavaliers are 12-3 (.800) against teams that had at least a .500-record the day of the game. In facing Los Angeles, Cleveland is 9-3 (.750) against the Western Conference, including winning four or their last five games against interdivisional rivals. No team has been better against theopposite conference since the beginning of last season than the Cavaliers, who have gone 35-7 (.833). (Elias)
  • Today's Christmas Day matchup is the Cavaliers' 10th in franchise history and the team is 5-4 (.556), including two straight wins.
  • The Cavaliers and Lakers feature two of the league's top two scorers with Kobe Bryant (2nd at 29.3 ppg) and LeBron James (28.8ppg) as well as two of the NBA's top scoring duos with Bryant/Gasol second at 46.3 ppg and James/M. Williams third at 45.7 ppg.
  • The teams are also two of the elite defensive teams as the Lakers lead the league in defensive field goal percentage at .424 while the Cavaliers rank 2nd in at .435. The Cavaliers are 4th in points allowed at 94.5 ppg, while the Lakers are 5th at 95.0 ppg. In defensive three-point field goal percentage, the Lakers lead the league at only .301 while the Cavaliers rank 5th at .322. Both teams are joined by the Celtics as the only teams that rank in the Top 5 in each of three defensive categories. The Cavaliers also allow an NBA-low of only 34.9 points in the paint and haven't allowed an opponent to shoot at or above .500 percent from the field in 20games, the NBA's longest active streak. (STATS, Inc.)
  • The Cavaliers 117-104 overtime victory over the Kings was the seventh consecutive win and fifth straight at Arco Arena. LeBron James notched his second triple-double of the season with 34 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Cavaliers. It was James',26th career triple-double and 15th on the road. Of the 12 other NBA players with at least 25 triple-doubles, the only other player with more on the road than at home is Larry Bird (24 at home, 35 on the road). It was James' second career game of at least 30 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists and since 1986-87, only Charles Barkley and Larry Bird have had two games with at least those totals. In the NBA, this game was also the first game a player achieved at least those totals since Vince Carter tallied 46 points,16 rebounds and 10 assists with the Nets against Washington on Apr. 7, 2007. (STATS, Inc./Elias)
  • Over his last 10 games, James is averaging 32.0 points on .481 shooting, 8.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks. Athome, LeBron James averages 25.4 ppg (7th best), but on the road he averages a league-best 31.5 ppg. The +6.1 differential isalso a league-best in the NBA. James has also been very good against Western Conference teams over the last three seasons. Sincethe 2007-08 season, James leads the league with the highest scoring average at 28.6 ppg (2,028 points in 71 games). (Elias)
  • Zydrunas Ilgauskas added a season-high 25 points and eight rebounds off Cleveland's bench including three three-pointers made allin overtime. Ilgauskas became the first player to make three three-pointers in an overtime since Walter Hermann on Apr. 8, 2007and the first Cavaliers since James did it in a second overtime on Jan. 24, 2007 vs. Philadelphia. (Elias)
  • Against Sacramento, Mo Williams scored 27 points on 10-19 (.526) from the field and made three three-pointers. Williams ranks 13thin three-point accuracy at .439 and 3rd in three-point field goals made with 68. While being one of the NBA's best defensive teams,Cleveland is the league's best three-point shooting team at .423 and ranks 4th in the NBA in field goal percentage at .481. Twoother Cavaliers are the NBA's top marksmen as Anthony Parker ranks 1st at 47-93 (.505) and Daniel Gibson ranks 2nd at 38-77(.494) from behind the arc. While no teammates have ever finished the season ranked #1 - #2 in three-point percentage, they couldbe the first pair to lead the league through games of Dec. 31 (min. 25 3PM) since Utah's Bryon Russell (.500) and John Stockton (.490), who were ranked #1 - #2 in 2000-01 season. The Cavaliers are 20-2 (.909) when they shoot at least .450 from the field, 14-0 when shooting at least .420 from the behind the arc and 18-1 (.944) when hitting the century mark. (STATS, Inc.)
  • The Cavaliers also lead the league in first quarter scoring at 29.0 ppg and shoot an NBA-high .561 from the field in firstquarters. The team has won a league-high 22 out of 30 overall first quarters by a league-best average margin of +3.9. The Cavaliers have topped the 30-point first quarter plateau in 15 games this season and scored at least 60 points in six first halves this season,which has led to Cleveland being 18-2 (.900) when tied or leading at halftime. (STATS, Inc.)