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Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009

West carries load for Cavs in runaway victory

MILWAUKEE (AP) Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said he's sticking with Delonte West. The troubled guard showed for a game that Cleveland's faith in him could pay off.

News photo
Kazaam: Cavs center Shaquille O'Neal dunks during Cleveland's game against the Bucks on Sunday in Milwaukee. AP PHOTO

"He started for us on a 66-win team last year," Brown said. "We know what he's definitely capable of. We're going to be patient with him. The team's going to be patient, I'm going to be patient and just continue kind of plugging along."

Playing 24 minutes in a reserve role, West scored 14 of his season-high 21 points in a 29-0 first-half run to lead the streaking Cavaliers to a 101-86 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

"When he gets his opportunity and he's playing well, we'll keep playing him," Brown said. "But we won't expect that every night."

LeBron James had 14 points and 10 assists for his fourth straight double-double. After opening the season 3-3, the Cavaliers have gone 12-2 to improve to 15-5.

Former Bucks guard Mo Williams scored 13 points for the Cavs, Shaquille O'Neal had 10 points in just over 15 minutes, and Anderson Varejao added 12 rebounds.

Cleveland's big run straddled the first and second quarters and was the biggest scoreless streak in the NBA this season, according to research by STATS, LLC.

"I didn't know it was 29-0. I knew we went on a big run. It's a good feeling, I hope I can have that feeling a lot more, but it may not happen," Brown said. "I'll think about it tonight when I'm having barbecue in Memphis."

Heat 115, Kings 102

In Sacramento, Dwyane Wade had 34 points and 10 assists and Miami never trailed against the Kings.

Knicks 106, Nets 97

In New York, Larry Hughes scored 16 of his 25 points in the third quarter, and the Knicks sent New Jersey back to its losing ways.

Pistons 98, Wizards 94

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Rodney Stuckey scored 25 points and Charlie Villanueva added 18 as Detroit beat Washington in coach Flip Saunders' first game at the Palace since being fired by the Pistons after the 2007-08 season.

Caron Butler had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Earl Boykins scored 18 for the Wizards.

Lakers 108, Suns 88

In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, Ron Artest added 15 points and five steals, and the Lakers raced away from Phoenix in the second half of their ninth straight victory.

Pau Gasol scored 14 points for the well-rested Lakers, who improved to an NBA-best 16-3.

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