Cleveland’s LeBron James scored 42 points, one more than Miami’s Dwyane Wade, in a shootout between basketball’s two top point producers as the Cavaliers defeated Miami 107-100 on Monday.
James, who sank six three-pointers and added eight rebounds, put the final exclamation point on the showdown of National Basketball Association sharpshooters with a game-clinching slam dunk with 42 seconds remaining.
The Cavaliers rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Heat 27-9 over the last 7:31 of the game, with Mo Williams scoring 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter for Cleveland.
NBA scoring leader Wade added nine assists and seven rebounds to go with his 41 points, but still finished second best in the personal battle of playmakers and in the final score thanks to Miami shooting 6-of-25 in the last period.
Wade also made a career-high seven steals, one of them turned into a reverse slam dunk that gave the Heat their largest lead at 91-80 just 4:29 into the fourth quarter.
Cleveland scored the next eight points, two Williams three-pointers around a dunk by “King James,” who seized command for the second night in a row with the outcome in doubt in the final seconds.
James drove quickly to his right, faking out defenders, then slammed in a dunk to leave the Heat in trouble. He hit the game-winning free throw in the last seconds on Sunday against Atlanta on a similar move.
Wade, who produced his NBA-best eighth 40-point game of the season, also made a season-high eight turnovers.
HORNETS 98, 76ERS 91
At Philadelphia, David West scored 30 points with 10 rebounds to lead New Orleans to their fifth straight win as the Hornets downed the home team.
West was chosen the Western Conference player of the week only hours earlier on the strength of his 28.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in four Hornets’ victories. The new week brought more of the same stellar production. West scored the Hornets’ first 12 points as they raced to a 13-point lead. New Orleans is on a season-high winning streak.
Led by West, the Hornets won for the seventh time in nine games since the All-Star break.
Chris Paul bounced back from a two-point first half to finish with 16 points and 12 assists.
Andre Iguodala scored 30 points and Andre Miller had 28 for Philadelphia.
HAWKS 98, WIZARDS 89
At Washington, Atlanta completed a season sweep of Washington with the help of Marvin Williams’ 28 points.
Al Horford added 16 points and Joe Johnson had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who broke open a tie game with a 20-6 run that started late in the third quarter and went well into the fourth.
Antawn Jamison scored 23 points for the Wizards, who were more short-handed than usual when Caron Butler was scratched with tightness in his left hamstring. Washington fell to 0-13 against the Southeast Division, just three games away from becoming the first NBA team to go winless within its division.
THUNDER 96, MAVERICKS 87
At Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Nenad Krstic scored a season-high 26 points and rookie Russell Westbrook added 17 as part of his first career triple double to lead the undermanned Thunder past Dallas.
Kevin Durant (sprained ankle) and Jeff Green (back spasms) were both out, but the Thunder were spurred by Krstic’s biggest scoring outing since December 2006. Westbrook had the franchise’s first triple-double since an offseason move from Seattle with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.