Cavs vs. Hornets, Game 72
at New Orleans Arena
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs abused the Hornets in the paint, 58-36, They also won the battle of the boards, 40-37.
Forward LeBron James (38 points) and J.J. Hickson (20 points) were too much for the Hornets inside.
Forward Anderson Varejao showed his worth with 7:48 remaining in the game. Hornets guard Chris Paul turned the ball over, as it went bounding into the backcourt.
Hornets swingman James Posey had the inside track on the ball, but Varejao dove into the pile, got his hands on it and called time out. Posey didn't know what hit him.
Cavs coach Mike Brown always talks about 50/50 balls. Varejao's hustle play fell into that category, and showed why he's so valuable to the team.
"It was a heck of a hustle play," Brown said.
MO GOTTI: Guard Mo Williams tried to check into the game with about 5 minutes to play. The head scorer said he wasn't there in time to check in and couldn't enter. Williams gave the stat crew a "Mo Gotti look," and everyone cracked up with laughter.
NOTES: The Cavs shot a blistering 57.1 percent from the field, including 66.7 percent on two-point shots.
-- James' 38 is the second-highest against the Hornets this season. Vince Carter had 48 for the Magic this year against the Hornets on Feb. 8.
-- Guard Chris Paul had five points and seven assists in his second game back from knee surgery. He missed 25 games.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Morris Peterson (6-7, 220)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. David West (6-9, 250)
C J.J. Hickson (6-9, 242) vs. Emeka Okafor (6-10, 255)
SG Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Marcus Thornton (6-4, 205)
PG Mo Williams (6-1, 190) vs. Chris Paul (6-0, 175)
Cavs - C Shaquille O'Neal, G Sebastian Telfair
Hornets - F/C Sean Marks, F Peja Stojakovic, F/C Ike Diogu
Ron Garretson, Eric Dalen, Michael Smith