New York's Chris Duhon tries to drive past Cavaliers defender Anderson Varejao last night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Tony Dejak / AP Enlarge
CLEVELAND - If this keeps up, LeBron James will never leave home.
James scored 21 points and then grabbed an early seat on the bench as the Cleveland Cavaliers improved to 10-0 on their own floor for the first time in their history and won for the 14th time in 15 games, 118-82 over the tired and tired-looking New York Knicks last night.
Wearing replica wine-and-gold uniforms from their 1970 expansion season, when they played at dingy Cleveland Arena, the Cavaliers built a 42-point lead in the second half and breezed to their sixth straight blowout win. They also remained the Eastern Conference's only unbeaten team at home.
Cleveland opened 9-0 at home in both the 1976-77 and 1991-92 seasons at Richfield Coliseum, their home before moving to Gund Arena, now called Quicken Loans Arena.
Despite their start, James and his teammates are keeping things in perspective.
"We're going to stay humble, and play every game like its our last," said James, who answered the latest round of New York-centric questions about his free-agent future before the game.
The 36-point margin of victory was Cleveland's largest in 171 games against the Knicks.
The Cavs, who have won their last nine games by at least 11 points, improved to 15-3 and continued the best start they've ever had. Right now, it doesn't matter where they play.
"They're really good everywhere," Knicks first-year coach Mike D'Antoni said before his team was rocked by Cleveland for the second time in a week.
Mo Williams added 16 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and none of Cleveland's starters played more than 28 minutes.
Al Harrington scored 20 points, Anthony Roberson had 19 and David Lee 16 with 16 rebounds for the short-handed Knicks, who made 28 turnovers one night after losing at home to Portland.
"This is the thing you run into when you run into a good team without any gas in your tank and it showed," said D'Antoni, who hasn't had a full complement of players because of trades and injuries.
The Cavs were so efficient, James didn't even play in the fourth quarter. He was pulled with 2:33 left in the third quarter but still managed six assists, five rebounds, five steals and made 10 of 10 free throws before kicking back and cheering the backups.
The Knicks, eyeing James as a free agent in two years, must be wishing they could jump in a time machine and transport themselves to 2010.
Following the game, several of the Cavs lingered in the shower area, savoring another easy win. Team chemistry is soaring.
"It's at an all-time high," James said. "No one puts themselves before the team and the feel is really good right now. But it's early. We don't want to get too high on ourselves right now."