The showdown between US Olympic teammates LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony quickly turned into more of a smackdown as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 105-88 in the NBA on Friday.
In sweeping the Nuggets for the first time in his career, James had 33 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in leading a Cavaliers offense that seemingly couldn’t miss. James was 13-of-20 from the floor.
The ease of the victory over the Northwest Division leaders was a riposte to criticism that Cleveland’s record — now 22-4 — was due in large part to an easy schedule so far.
CELTICS 126, BULLS 108
In Boston, the home team moved within one win of a franchise-record winning streak, beating Chicago to make it 17 victories in a row.
Ray Allen scored 27 points and Kendrick Perkins scored a career-high 25 on 12-for-15 shooting for the Celtics, who will go for a record-equaling 18th win when they face New York today.
The 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers set an NBA-record with 33 consecutive wins.
Boston’s 126-point total was its highest this season.
HEAT 89, LAKERS 87
In Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 35 points as Miami held Los Angeles to its lowest points total this season.
Kobe Bryant scored to draw the Lakers within 88-86 with 41.7 seconds left.
But the Heat blocked potentially game-tying shots on the next Lakers’ possession, and after Bryant’s 15-foot shot rimmed out as time expired, Miami could celebrate snapping a three-game slide.
The Lakers’ previous low this season was 93 points.
JAZZ 120, PISTONS 114, OT
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Deron Williams scored 29 points to give Utah its seventh straight win over Detroit.
Mehmet Okur, who finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, is 8-1 against Detroit since leaving after winning the 2004 NBA title.
NETS 121, MAVERICKS 97
In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Devin Harris dominated the team that traded him, scoring 41 points as New Jersey beat Dallas.
Harris added 13 assists in thoroughly outplaying Jason Kidd, who spent six-and-a-half years in New Jersey before the Nets dealt him to Dallas last February for a package highlighted by Harris, who had his second 40-point game during a breakout season.
It was Harris’ eighth 30-point game, all this season.
ROCKETS 107, KINGS 96
In Houston, Yao Ming scored 11 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to guide Houston over Sacramento.
Luis Scola had his seventh double-double of the season, matching a season high with 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who’ve won six straight at home.
BUCKS 105, KNICKS 81
In New York, Milwaukee made it three wins this season over New York.
Michael Redd scored 21 points for the Bucks, including 12 in a decisive 25-7 run that spanned the two halves and set up the win.
HAWKS 115, WARRIORS 99
In Atlanta, Golden State fell to its fifth straight loss, beaten by Atlanta.
Flip Murray scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for the Hawks, who took control early in the final period after an even match over the first three.
The Warriors fell to 3-13 on the road, despite holding slim leads at halftime and after three quarters.
BOBCATS 112, GRIZZLIES 83
In Memphis, Tennessee, Charlotte set a franchise record with 66 percent shooting to cruise past Memphis.
Boris Diaw had a season-high 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats.
CLIPPERS 117, PACERS 109, 2OT
In Indianapolis, Zach Randolph had 34 points and 16 rebounds to help Los Angeles finally see off an undermanned Indiana.