Cavaliers 121, Wizards 120, OT


CLEVELAND (AP) – Like another No. 23 before him, LeBron James saved his finest moment for the biggest one.

James muscled through traffic and dropped in a layup with 0.9 seconds left in overtime as the Cleveland Cavaliers moved closer to the second round of the NBA playoffs with a 121-120 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

With the Cavs down by one, James, who finished with 45 points, took an inbounds pass with 3 seconds to go. After sliding past Antawn Jamison, James knifed inside of Michael Ruffin, Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood.

He rose in the lane and softly dropped in his layup, sending a sellout crowd of more than 20,000 into a frenzy.

Arenas, who matched James bucket for bucket and had 44 points, was way off with a desperation heave at the buzzer.

The best-of-seven series, which has been bogged down by whining from both teams and some questionable officiating, returns to Washington for Game 6 on Friday night.

AP-ES-05-04-06 0012EDT