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Friday, May 05, 2006

Cavaliers win! Cleveland advances with OT thiller over Washington

LeBron James and Gilbert Arenas were supposed to be the players who provided the late-game heroics. Someone forgot to tell Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown about this when he inserted Damon Jones into the lineup with 14.3 seconds remaining in OT down 113-112 to the Wizards. Jones, who had not played a single second prior, saw LeBron pass to Larry Hughes who found Jones in the corner for a 2-point basket to win the game for the Cavs in 114-113 OT. The win advanced the Cleveland Cavaliers over Washington 4-2 and into the 2nd Round against the Detroit Pistons.

It was not as if this game lacked heroics, or moments of "choking" for that matter. Gilbert Arenas could not decide which of these hats he wanted to wear as he extended the game to overtime with a long-range 3-pointer at the end of regulation. But it was Arenas who missed two consecutive free-throws in the final seconds of OT which could have made the Cavs comeback much more improbable. Those two missed FT's led to a Cavs timeout, followed by the insertion of Damon Jones, and you know how it ended.

Series note: I am not sure what impressed me more during Game 6 between Washington and Cleveland, the announcers' high praise of Wizards PG Antonio Daniels or his fantastic play. Daniels averaged 13.2 ppg (22 pts in Game 6), made 53.8% from the field and hit 90.9% of his FT's. The former Bowling Green star was the most playoff-experienced player on Washington's roster and certainly played like it with a fantastic showing on national TV for six huge playoff games.

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