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Friday, Feb. 18, 2011

Kobe left speechless as Cavs stun Lakers

CLEVELAND (AP) Kobe Bryant slipped a black backpack across his shoulders and left Quicken Loans Arena without talking about what had just happened.

News photo
Sideline counsel: Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott talks with Jamario Moon in the first half against Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Cleveland beat the Lakers 104-99. AP PHOTO

After losing to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, nothing needed to be said.

The Lakers hit the All-Star break broken.

Looking nothing like two-time defending NBA champions, they dropped their third straight game, a stunning 104-99 loss Wednesday night to the Cavs — the league's worst team, which avenged a 55-point embarrassment against Los Angeles last month.

The Lakers, who played so crisply and with purpose in recent wins over New York and Boston, look absolutely lost.

"It's a painful, painful loss," said Pau Gasol, who had 30 points and 20 rebounds. "It's very disappointing. I don't understand it."

Ramon Sessions came off the bench and scored a season-high 32 points for the Cavaliers, who were beaten 112-57 by the Lakers on Jan. 11. That loss — the worst in club history — was No. 11 in a league-record streak that eventually reached 26 before Cleveland ended it last week with an overtime win against L.A.'s less-heralded squad, the Clippers.

After his club's worst loss this season, coach Phil Jackson didn't tell his players anything other than what time they're due to report for practice Monday.

"I think they took the break before the game started," he said.

Celtics 94, Nets 80

In Boston, Paul Pierce bounced back from one of the worst games of his career with 31 points to help the Celtics head into the All-Star break with the best record in the East.

Heat 103, Raptors 95

In Toronto, Dwyane Wade scored 28 points, and LeBron James had 23 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for Miami.

Chris Bosh scored 25 points in his first game in Toronto against his former team, which lost for the 17th time in 19 games.

Mavericks 116, Kings 100

In Dallas, Jason Kidd scored 17 points in the third quarter and Rodrigue Beaubois lived up to high expectations for his season debut with 13 points and six assists for the Mavericks.

Magic 101, Wizards 76

In Orlando, Dwight Howard had 32 points and 10 rebounds for his 45th double-double of the season as the Magic won their second straight and fourth in five games.

Nuggets 94, Bucks 87

In Milwaukee, Carmelo Anthony scored 38 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help Denver to a much needed win after losses in four of its previous five games.

Knicks 102, Hawks 90

In New York, Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points to lead the Knicks into the All-Star break with a winning record.

Clippers 98, Timberwolves 90

In Minneapolis, Blake Griffin stole the show in a matchup of All-Star power forwards with 29 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead Los Angeles.

Pistons 115, Pacers 109 (OT)

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Tayshaun Prince had 25 points and 11 rebounds as Detroit held on after blowing a 10-point lead in fourth quarter.

Warriors 107, Jazz 100

In Salt Lake City, Monta Ellis scored 35 points as Golden State kept new Utah head coach Ty Corbin winless since Jerry Sloan's retirement.

76ers 114, Rockets 105

In Houston, Jrue Holiday scored 20 points to lead seven 76ers in double-figures and Philadelphia rallied from an early 12-point deficit.

Trail Blazers 103, Hornets 96

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 34 points to help the Blazers win their season-high sixth straight game.

Bobcats reward Silas

CHARLOTTE , N.C. (AP) The Bobcats removed the interim tag from coach Paul Silas on Wednesday, rewarding him with a one-year extension after he helped get Charlotte into playoff contention following a miserable start under Larry Brown.

"It's a very exciting day for me knowing I'll be here this year and next year and have a chance to really make this team special," Silas said at a news conference. "There's a long way to go, but we're getting there."

Owner Michael Jordan's decision comes less than two months after he fired Brown following Charlotte's 9-19 start that left a fractured team. Guard Stephen Jackson said a change was needed because "nobody wanted to play" for the demanding Brown, who had routinely criticized his players.

The 67-year-old Silas brought a calming influence and a more uptempo, free-flowing style. He's led the Bobcats to a 15-13 mark to get within one game of the Indiana Pacers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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