James’s wizardry helps Cavs beat Washington

Stabroek News Sunday - - SPORT -

Ma­hen­dra Per­saud (The Sports Xchange) - LeBron James had the sec­ond-high­est scor­ing per­for­mance of his ca­reer with 57 points as the Cleve­land Cava­liers snapped a four-game los­ing streak with a 130-122 win over the Washington Wizards on Fri­day night.

James sank 23 of 34 shots, in­clud­ing two 3-point­ers, made all nine of his freethrow at­tempts and had 11 re­bounds with seven as­sists in a dom­i­nant per­for­mance be­fit­ting a four-time league Most Valu­able Player. He fin­ished within four of his ca­reer-high set March 3, 2014, against Char­lotte.

Der­rick Rose added 20 points for the Cava­liers, whose slide in­cluded three dou­ble-digit losses.

Bradley Beal scored 36 points for the Wizards, who have lost four of five. John Wall had 13 points and 15 as­sists. Rock­ets 119, Hawks 104 James Harden had 29 points and 11 as­sists be­fore sit­ting the fourth quar­ter as Hous­ton bombed away early and of­ten from be­hind the 3-point arc to beat At­lanta.

Harden was 6 of 11 from on 3-point shots, and the Rock­ets took 47 of their 89 shots from be­hind the 3-point arc, mak­ing 16.

The Rock­ets had lost seven straight games over­all to the Hawks and hadn’t won in At­lanta since a 109-102 vic­tory on Nov. 2, 2012.

Kent Baze­more scored 18 for the Hawks, who dropped their eighth straight. Bulls 105, Magic 83 Justin Hol­i­day scored 19 points and David Nwaba added 16 points to lead Chicago to a sur­pris­ingly easy vic­tory over Or­lando, which had been 3-0 at home.

The Bulls never trailed af­ter grab­bing Len­nox Braith­waite the lead early in the sec­ond half, coast­ing past the Magic, who had won five of their pre­vi­ous six games.

Evan Fournier led the Magic with 21 points.

76ers 121, Pac­ers 110

J.J. Redick scored a sea­son-high 31 points, in­clud­ing three 3-point­ers in the fi­nal 2:06, and rookie Ben Sim­mons had his sec­ond triple-dou­ble as Philadel­phia won its fourth straight game.

Redick, signed as a free agent in the off­sea­son af­ter four sea­sons with the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers, nailed 11 of 19 of shots, in­clud­ing 8 of 12 3-point at­tempts. His 3pointer with 2:06 left snapped a tie and trig­gered a game-end­ing 11-0 rush.

Sim­mons fin­ished with 14 points, 11 re­bounds and 11 as­sists. He also added three steals and three blocks.

Vic­tor Oladipo had 31 points to lead In­di­ana, which saw a three-game winning streak end.

Pis­tons 105, Bucks 96

An­dre Drum­mond had 24 points and 15 re­bounds, lead­ing De­troit past Mil­wau­kee.

Drum­mond made a ca­reer-high 14 free throws on 16 at­tempts for the Pis­tons, who won four of their last five games.

Gian­nis An­te­tok­oun­mpo, the NBA’s lead­ing scorer, paced the Bucks with 29 points. Knicks 120, Suns 107 Kristaps Porzingis had 37 points to lead six play­ers in dou­ble fig­ures as New York got back to .500 with a win over Phoenix.

The Knicks used a 15-2 run to take con­trol mid­way through the first quar­ter as Phoenix missed 15 straight shots.

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