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Hickson stars as Cavaliers extend winning streak

The Sports Network

1/28/2010 2:47:27 AM

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - J.J. Hickson finished with a career-high 23 points, as the Cleveland Cavaliers extended a pair of winning streaks with a 109-95 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"J.J. had a nice game for us," Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown said. "He ran the floor and our guys did a nice job of finding him."

Hickson shot 8-for-10, sank all seven free throws and grabbed eight rebounds in a little under 25 minutes for the Cavaliers, who have won their last six games. Cleveland also got its ninth consecutive victory over the Timberwolves, having last lost in the series in November 2005.

LeBron James ended with 12 points, 11 assists and six boards for the Cavs, who got 14 points off the bench from Jamario Moon. Shaquille O'Neal, Daniel Gibson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas each scored 13 in the win.

Corey Brewer had 22 points while Kevin Love added 20 points and 10 boards for Minnesota, which has lost five in a row and is 1-9 over its last 10 games. Al Jefferson had 14 points and 10 boards.

Cleveland held a 27-26 edge after a tight first quarter and continued to play in front in the second, but didn't start pulling away until the final minutes.

Danny Green sank a layup with about three minutes left to start an 11-3 run that James capped with two free throws for a 57-45 advantage.

Cleveland led 60-48 at halftime and expanded its lead in the third quarter. Two foul shots from Hickson ended a seven-point burst that pushed the advantage to 75-54, and the Cavs were up 85-66 moving to the fourth.

The Timberwolves got within 101-91 with 2:49 left on a Jefferson tip-in, but Gibson followed with a layup as the Cavaliers led by double-digits the rest of the way.

"We're happy with how we played tonight...I felt like we played them well," Love said.

Game Notes

Cleveland shot 54.8 percent from the field and made 24-of-28 foul shots...Minnesota made 38.9 percent of its shots and was 17-of-23 from the line...The Cavs held a 60-34 scoring advantage in the paint...Ryan Gomes and Jonny Flynn scored 14 and 10, respectively, for the Wolves.