James’ Cava­liers run into the Wall

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LOS AN­GE­LES: John Wall tal­lied 37 points as the Wash­ing­ton Wizards de­feated LeBron James’ Cleve­land Cava­liers 127115, tight­en­ing the race atop the Eastern Con­fer­ence stand­ings on Satur­day.

The Wizards now trail the Bos­ton Celtics by two games and the de­fend­ing NBA cham­pion Cava­liers by 2 1/2 for first place. Also, Cleve­land’s lead over Bos­ton is now just a half-game.

Wall de­liv­ered 18 of his 37 points in the first quar­ter shoot­ing eight-of-eight from the field.

Bradley Beal added 27 points for the Wizards, who are now 19-7 when all five starters score in dou­ble fig­ures.

Su­per­star James shook off the eye in­jury suf­fered Fri­day night to score 24 points, grab 11 re­bounds, and hand out eight as­sists.

James started Satur­day’s con­test wear­ing plas­tic gog­gles but took them off with about three min­utes left in the first quar­ter.

James needed seven as­sists to pass Mau­rice Cheeks (7,392) for 12th place in NBA his­tory, which he reached with his first as­sist in the fourth quar­ter.

Else­where, Ja­mal Craw­ford came off the bench to score a game-high 28 points and power the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers over Utah 108-95.

The Clip­pers im­proved to 4430, mov­ing within one-half game of the Jazz (44-29) for fourth place in the West­ern Con­fer­ence and clinch­ing a play­off berth for the sixth sea­son in a row.

The teams would be firstround play­off foes if they keep their spots with the su­pe­rior record con­vey­ing a home-court edge in the se­ries.

French cen­tre Rudy Gobert scored 26 points and grabbed 14 re­bounds for the Jazz, who lost to the Clip­pers for the third time in four meet­ings so far this sea­son and the 18th time in the team’s past 20 meet­ings.

Gobert also stretched his streak of games with at least one blocked shot to 41.

– Port­land 112 Min­nesota 100, Cleve­land 115 Wash­ing­ton 127, Dal­las 86 Toronto 94, San An­to­nio 106 NY Knicks 98, LA Clip­pers 108 Utah 95. AFP

AP PIC

Wizards’ John Wall (left) drives past Cava­liers’ LeBron James for a bas­ket dur­ing their NBA game on Satur­day.

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