- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James played just 17 minutes, tying his career low, as the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled to a 117-82 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

James scored 14 points. The Cavaliers superstar also played 17 minutes on Dec. 29, 2004, a game he left because of an injury.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas led Cleveland with 17 points. All 12 players on the roster scored.

The Cavaliers are 12-3 for the first time in franchise history and remained undefeated at home in eight games.

Oklahoma City (1-15) has the worst record in the NBA and lost its 13th straight game. The Thunder are 0-3 under interim coach Scott Brooks, who took over when P.J. Carlesimo was fired Nov. 22.

Chris Wilcox led Oklahoma City with 14 points.

Cleveland raced to a 13-0 lead during which Brooks called a 20-second timeout and a full timeout. The Thunder finally scored on a jumper by Joe Smith, who played with the Cavaliers last season, with 7:37 remaining in the first quarter.

James also played 17 minutes against Houston in his second season in the league, a game in which he sustained a bone bruise near his left eye after being elbowed by Dikembe Mutombo.

One night after dealing with numerous questions about his plans for free agency in 2010 when the Cavs played in New York, James found the surroundings much less chaotic Wednesday. He scored 10 points in nine first-quarter minutes and sat out the rest of the half. Cleveland led 27-8 when James left the game.

James wasted little time bringing the fans to their feet when he caught a lob pass from Delonte West with one hand and dunked on the Cavaliers’ first possession of the second half. He left the game for good with the Cavaliers leading 84-43 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

James played 30 minutes in Cleveland’s 119-101 win over the Knicks, a game which the Cavaliers led handily most of the way.

Daniel Gibson scored 15 points for Cleveland. Rookie forward J.J. Hickson, the Cavaliers’ No. 1 draft pick, scored a career-high 14.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook scored 13 points apiece for Oklahoma City.

The Thunder are in the midst of their longest losing streak since Seattle dropped a franchise-worst 14 straight games last season from Dec. 31-Jan. 27. Unlike Tuesday night, when the Thunder led Phoenix by 16 points late in the third quarter only to lose down the stretch, they were never in the game.

Notes:@ Cleveland is off to its third-best home start in franchise history. The Cavaliers were 9-0 at home in both 1991-92 and 1976-77. Cleveland can match that mark when it hosts Golden State on Friday. … Brooks played 43 games with Cleveland in the 1997-98 season. … Oklahoma City hosts Minnesota on Friday.

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