LeBron James rapid rise in the NBA has continued with the Cavalier's star becoming Cleveland's career scoring leader.
|LeBron James: Already the Cavaliers |
all-time leading scorer [AFP]
James passed Brad Daugherty as Cleveland's career scoring leader in the first quarter and finished with 29 points, leading the Cavaliers to a 90-83 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night in a possible first-round playoff preview.
In just his fifth NBA season, James moved to the top of the franchise's scoring chart, a remarkable achievement for a remarkable player whose potential seems limitless.
He scored 23 points in the second half, including 11 in the final 7:19 as the Cavaliers won their ninth straight at home.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 16 points, Devin Brown scored 14 and Damon Jones knocked down two crucial 3-pointers early in the fourth for Cleveland, which opened a 4½-game lead over the Raptors for the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto's Chris Bosh scored 24 points in his second game back after missing 10 with a sore knee.
Cleveland's Ben Wallace went out with back spasms in the third and didn't return.
He missed a game last week with the same problem.
Rockets 109, Warriors 106
At Oakland, California, Tracy McGrady scored 26 points, Bobby Jackson hit an improbable 3-pointer and the Rockets got back to their winning ways.
Houston had lost two straight following a 22-game winning streak that was the second longest in NBA history.
The power-packed Western Conference gave the Rockets little cushion and a third straight loss would have dropped them into a tie for sixth place with San Antonio in the conference.
Instead, they rode the all-around play from McGrady and clutch shooting from Jackson to move within percentage points of New Orleans for the lead in the Southwest Division.
Baron Davis scored 27 points and Monta Ellis added 24 to lead the Warriors.
Lakers 130, SuperSonics 105
|Kobe Bryant leads the Lakers |
with 23 points [AFP]
At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 23 points and seven of his teammates also scored in double digits as Los Angeles sent Seattle to its 10th straight loss.
The Western Conference-leading Lakers returned to Staples Center from an arduous 2-2 road trip that concluded with victories over Dallas and Utah, who were a combined 58-8 at home before they got there. They never trailed in their sixth straight win over the Sonics, whose 16-53 record is the second-worst in the NBA.
Rookie Kevin Durant had 20 points for the Sonics.
Grizzlies 120, Knicks 106
At New York, Mike Miller scored 24 of his 34 points in the first half, and Memphis snapped an 18-game road losing streak.
Rudy Gay added 24 points for the Grizzlies, who stormed to a 19-point halftime lead, blew it all before the end of the third quarter, then pulled away again for their first win outside Memphis since beating Indiana on January 2.
Miller was scoreless in the third quarter, then had 10 in the fourth to help the Grizzlies improve to 4-18 since trading Pau Gasol.
Jamal Crawford scored 22 points and Nate Robinson had 18 for the Knicks (19-49), who have lost three straight, 10 of 11, and matched their loss total from all of last season.
Nuggets 125, Nets 114
At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Allen Iverson scored 26 points and led a fourth-quarter spurt that carried Denver to the win.
Backup forward Linas Kleiza added 23 points and Marcus Camby had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets. Former Net Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony had 17 points apiece.
Vince Carter scored 32 points and Richard Jefferson added 29 for the Nets, who fell a half-game behind idle Atlanta in the race for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Denver won the hard way, blowing a 17-point third-quarter lead and then taking command with an 18-1 spurt that bridged the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth.
Iverson also had nine assists.
Spurs 102, Kings 89
At San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead San Antonio to the victory.
Tony Parker added 19 points for the Spurs, who have won two straight after snapping a season-high four-game losing streak Thursday in Chicago.
Ron Artest scored 23 points for the Kings, 17 in the first half, and Kevin Martin added 20.
The Kings got as close as a tie in the third quarter, but didn't ever get a lead after Duncan put the Spurs up 14-13 in the opening period.
Anthony Johnson, who started in place of an injured Beno Udrih, scored 12 points for Sacramento. Jacque Vaughn scored 11 points and Bruce Bowen had 10 for San Antonio.
Pacers 124, Timberwolves 113
|Shawn Williams slams it home |
for the Pacers [AFP]
At Indianpolis, Danny Granger scored 32 points and Indiana earned its fifth straight victory at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Mike Dunleavy finished with 25 points and seven assists and Troy Murphy added 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Pacers.
Rashad McCants had 22 points, Randy Foye scored 16 and Kirk Snyder 15 for the Timberwolves.
Wizards 103, Heat 86
At Miami, Caron Butler scored 25 points and Antawn Jamison added 22 points and 10 rebounds for Washington.
Butler eclipsed the 20-point mark for the first time in five games since returning from a strained hip flexor that kept him out of the previous 16
Bobby Jones scored 15 points for the Heat, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games and 37 of their last 41.
The Wizards led the entire way against the league's worst team. They blew the game open in the third quarter, leading by as many as 25 points after Jamison scored eight consecutive points in a key stretch.
Magic 113, 76ers 95
At Orlando, Florida, Rashard Lewis scored 18 points, leading eight Magic players in double figures.
Louis Williams scored 18 for Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala added 14 points and reserve Rodney Carney had 11 points.
The 76ers, who at 34-35 are still trying to clinch an Eastern Conference playoff spot, had won four in a row and 10 of 12.
Orlando was a blistering 14-of-23 from 3-point range for the game, compared with 4-for-13 for Philadelphia.
Dwight Howard had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando despite playing only 23 minutes.
Trail Blazers 107, Clippers 102
At Portland, Ore., LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high seven assists to lead the Trail Blazers to the win.
Brandon Roy added 21 points and six assists, Martell Webster had 16 points and Steve Blake had 15 points and 11 assists for Portland, which has slim playoff hopes.
Cuttino Mobley scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half, and Josh Powell added 21 for the Clippers.
Los Angeles has lost six straight and 14 of 16 and was missing leading scorer Corey Maggette because of a sore shoulder.