Fri, Mar 27, 2009 - Page 20 News List

NBA: James stars as Cavs set new club record

HISTORIC BASKET LeBron James became just the second man to post 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a season four times with his first basket of the game

AP AND AFP , CLEVELAND, OHIO, ORLANDO, FLORIDA AND ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Monta Ellis of the Golden State Warriors, right, goes up for a basket against Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half of their NBA game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Wednesday.

PHOTO: EPA

LeBron James scored 22 points with 11 assists on Wednesday as the Cleveland Cavaliers won a club-record 58th game of the NBA, 98-87 over New Jersey.

The Cavaliers have won 10 straight and with 11 games remaining in the regular season they have surpassed the previous franchise record of 57 victories, shared by the 1988-1989 and 1991-1992 teams.

Cleveland also improved to a league-leading 33-1 in home games.

Vince Carter scored 20 and Jarvis Hayes 18 for the Nets, whose playoff hopes are fading.

The Nets trailed throughout, but Keyon Dooling drained a three-pointer with 3 minutes, 54 seconds to play to give New Jersey an 82-81 lead.

Then James took over.

He found Delonte West, who made a three-pointer to put the Cavaliers up 84-82.

After a New Jersey turnover, James made a layup that stretched the lead to four.

Fouled on a drive, James made both free throws to the delight of “MVP” chanting fans.

James had joined elite company with his very first basket of the game, which made him just the second player along with Oscar Robertson, to post 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a season at least four times.

MAGIC 84, CELTICS 82

In Orlando, Florida, the Magic clinched their second consecutive Southeast Division title with a victory over reigning NBA champions Boston.

Dwight Howard blocked a potential go-ahead layup by Paul Pierce with 3.8 seconds to play, finishing with 24 points and 21 rebounds.

Orlando improved to 53-18, percentage points ahead of Boston for second in the Eastern Conference behind Cleveland.

“We get another banner,” said Howard, of the division title that was secured as division rivals Atlanta also lost to San Antonio. “Hopefully we can get two more.”

“The politically correct answer in the NBA is to say that we don’t care about winning division titles and we’re on to bigger things,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Hopefully, we are, but I do care. I’d rather it be us than anyone else. I think it’s big.”

Pierce’s jump shot with 1 minute, 27 seconds to play cut Orlando’s lead to 83-82.

But the Celtics couldn’t get over the hump without Kevin Garnett, who was limited to 16 minutes as he continues to regain fitness after missing 13 games with a strained right knee.

Pierce missed a potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.

The Magic forced 18 turnovers and held Boston to 37 percent shooting, despite being out-rebounded 47-41.

“When we sit down and look at the film, we can see that we can get quality shots against very good defenses if we move the ball,” Van Gundy said.

SPURS 102, HAWKS 92

In Atlanta, Georgia, Tony Parker poured in 42 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a victory over Atlanta on Wednesday, but the Hawks still clinched a playoff berth.

Parker posted his second-best total of the season, behind his career-high 55 against Minnesota on Nov. 5.

“This is a big win for us after two tough losses to Boston and Houston,” said Parker, whose Spurs are fighting with Houston for the second seed in the Western Conference.

With All-Star Tim Duncan on the sidelines, Parker took over for the Spurs. He added 10 assists to his 42 points as Atlanta’s attempts to slow him failed.

Despite the French player’s heroics, the score was tied at the start of the fourth, after Atlanta rallied from an 11-point deficit.

The Hawks went scoreless for more than four minutes, while Parker kept up his torrid pace.

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