They rewrote part of the franchise record book, won their ninth straight game and delivered yet another second-half knockout.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are beating NBA teams like no one has before.

LeBron James scored 31 points and set the team record for steals, Zydrunas Ilgauskas became the Cavaliers' career leader in rebounds, and Cleveland moved to 12-0 at home with a 114-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors last night.

In winning their ninth straight by at least 12 points, the Cavaliers, now 17-1 since Nov. 3, are the first team in league history to win nine consecutive games in a single season so handily. Cleveland came in tied with Portland (1990-91), Chicago (1996-97), Detroit (2003-04) and Houston (2007-08).

They have won the nine games in their streak by an average of 21.5 points.

"We treat everybody the same," Ilgauskas said. "We respect everybody, but we fear nobody."

Leading by only 59-51 at halftime, Cleveland opened the third quarter with a 23-2 run, highlighted by two breakaway dunks from James, who threw one down lefthanded in the first half and added some style points to another jam in the third quarter.

James also passed Mark Price (734) for the club's steals mark, added five rebounds, four assists and three steals in 30 minutes. The megastar also watched from the bench in the fourth quarter as the Cavs raced away in another laugher.

Ilgauskas had 13 points and surpassed Brad Daugherty (5,227) as Cleveland's career rebound leader when he picked up a loose ball with 2:01 left before halftime.

In other games:

* At Minneapolis, Ronnie Brewer had 25 points and Mehmet Okur hit the go-ahead shot with 1.7 seconds to play and the Utah Jazz beat Minnesota, 99-96, to spoil Kevin McHale's debut as Timberwolves coach.

* At Washington, Caron Butler scored 33 points as the Wizards beat the Detroit Pistons, 107-94.

* At Dallas, Tim Duncan had 32 points and 14 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs over the Mavericks, 133-126, in double overtime.

* At Houston, Yao Ming had 24 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, and the Rockets beat the Atlanta Hawks, 92-84.

* At Chicago, Drew Gooden had 22 points and 16 rebounds as the Bulls defeated the New York Knicks, 105-100.

* At Phoenix, Shaquille O'Neal scored a season-high 35 points and the Suns beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 125-110.

* At Sacramento, Francisco Garcia and John Salmons scored 21 points apiece, and the Kings snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 113-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

* At Portland, Rashard Lewis had 27 points and nine rebounds as the Orlando Magic beat the Trail Blazers, 109-108.


* Charlotte general manager Rod Higgins said the Bobcats were close to signing veteran forward Juwan Howard, who had been without a job since being released by Denver last month.

* The Mavericks remain uncertain how long Josh Howard, their second-leading scorer and rebounder, will remain sidelined with an injured left ankle.

Multiple MRI exams have shown no structural damage and nothing requiring surgery.

* Antonio McDyess re-signed with the Pistons, a month after being dealt to Denver as part of the Allen Iverson trade.

* Portland swingman Martell Webster will be sidelined for an estimated 4 weeks after experiencing pain in his left foot during Sunday's game at Toronto. General manager Kevin Pritchard said the discomfort is in a different spot from the fracture. *