LeBron James scored 25 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a team-record 13th consecutive win on Tuesday with a 79-73 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
James tallied eight of his total in a 10-0 fourth-quarter run that enabled the Cavaliers to pull away from the visitors and increase their NBA-best record to 61-13. The Eastern Conference leaders are 36-1 at home this season.
The come-from-behind win netted the Cavaliers their first season-series triumph over their heated rivals in 11 years after capturing three of this season’s four games.
“That was a good, ugly, physical, grind-it-out type game,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown told reporters. “We used to have a lot of those in the past, and it’s fun to get back to that.”
James also had 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“Every win is not going to be pretty but we found a way to win,” he said.
The All-Star forward helped ensure the victory when he poked the ball away from Pistons guard Will Bynum in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland’s Mo Williams grabbed the loose ball and tossed it to James for a layup, despite being fouled, to tie the score at 69-69 with 4:37 to play.
James’ free throw on the play put Cleveland ahead to stay.
Delonte West had 12 points, while Anderson Varejao and Williams each scored 11 for the Cavaliers.
Richard Hamilton (13) and Allen Iverson (11) were the only Detroit players to reach double figures.
Rasheed Wallace added nine points and nine rebounds in his first game back after missing 11 contests with a calf injury.
BOBCATS 94, LAKERS 84
At Charlotte, North Carolina, Gerald Wallace had 21 points and 13 rebounds as Charlotte continued their surprising mastery of Los Angeles.
Raymond Felton added 16 points as the Bobcats completed a season sweep of the Western Conference leaders, who have lost six of seven to Charlotte.
Failing to reach 100 points in consecutive games for the first time since November, the Lakers dropped their second straight. Kobe Bryant scored 25 points, but hit just 11 of 28 shots. Lamar Odom added 20 points as the Lakers dropped to 4-2 on their seven-game road trip.
TRAIL BLAZERS 125, JAZZ 104
At Portland, Oregon, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points, and Brandon Roy had 25 points and 11 assists as Portland shot 65 percent from the floor through three quarters and finished at 61.6 percent for the game.
The Blazers (47-27) won their third consecutive game and gained outright possession of second place in the Northwest Division, 1.5 games behind first-place Denver. Utah, tied with Portland heading into the game, fell to 46-28.
Carlos Boozer, ejected midway during third quarter after a verbal altercation with Portland’s Joel Przybilla, led Utah with 20 points.
Deron Williams scored 16.
NUGGETS 111, KNICKS 104
At Denver, Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points as Denver clinched a playoff spot by holding on to beat New York after blowing most of a 27-point, second-quarter lead.
The Nuggets’ win, coupled with San Antonio’s 96-95 loss to Oklahoma City, moved Denver into the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference heading into the final two weeks of the season.
Nate Robinson scored 30 for the Knicks.
THUNDER 96, SPURS 95
At San Antonio, Kevin Durant scored 31 points as Oklahoma City continued to torment San Antonio.
The Thunder led by as much as 17 and beat the Spurs for the second time this month. San Antonio clinched a playoff berth despite the loss, but with eight games left lost their slim lead in the Southwest Division and fell into a first-place tie with Houston.