WASHINGTON - LeBron James was stymied down the stretch by DeShawn Stevenson, Antawn Jamison delivered 31 points and 10 rebounds in his season debut, and the Washington Wizards beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 108-91, Wednesday night to end a six-game losing streak.
Wearing a white protective sleeve over the right shoulder that sidelined him since October, Jamison looked in midseason form from the start, scoring 13 points in the first quarter.
James finished with 34 points and nine assists, but he scored only six points in the fourth quarter on 3-for-7 shooting. No one else scored more than 10 points for Cleveland, which was without Shaquille O’Neal and Anderson Varejao, both injured.
The Cavaliers had been figuring out how to play short-handed, winning five consecutive games heading into Wednesday. But after racing to a 17-point lead in the second quarter, they allowed the Wizards to come back, led mainly by Jamison.
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1 MAGIC NUMBER Magic Johnson would go along with LeBron James’ plan to have NBA players stop wearing No. 23. James said last week he would change jersey numbers next season in honor of Michael Jordan, and said no other players should wear it, either. Critics said others before Jordan deserved the honor at least as much, with some using Johnson and Larry Bird as examples. But Johnson said if there was a decision to retire No. 23, he and Bird would “be the first ones to say it should happen.”
2 AILING MAVERICKS Josh Howard, Shawn Marion and Erick Dampier were out of the Dallas Mavericks’ starting lineup for their game Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs because of injuries.
3 OUTLAW OUT OF COMMISSION Portland Trail Blazers forward Travis Outlaw had surgery to repair a fracture in his left foot. The team says he will be sidelined three to five months.