Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - Page 10 News List

King James pours in 57 as Cavs topple Wizards

AFP, WASHINGTON

Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr, right, drives to the basket as Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, defends in the second quarter at Capital One Arena in Washington on Friday.

Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Four-time league most valuable player LeBron James on Friday poured in 57 points for the second-best scoring performance of his career as the Cleveland Cavaliers busted out of a slump with a 130-122 win over the Washington Wizards.

James also delivered 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who shot 56 percent from the field and improved to 4-5 on the season.

The 32-year-old American sank 23 of 34 shots — including two three-pointers — and made all nine of his free throw attempts in front of a crowd of 20,100 at the Capital One Arena in Washington.

“I don’t want to give myself a ceiling. I don’t want to cap myself,” said James, who recorded his first 50 point game since returning to his hometown Cavaliers. “I want to be as complete a basketball player as I can be.”

“Even rounding 33 I feel I am in the best shape of my career. I am out here, I might as well keep getting better,” he said.

Derrick Rose added 20 points for the Cavaliers, who lost three games during their four-game losing skid by double digits.

Both teams were struggling heading into Friday’s game as the Wizards only added to their woes, having now lost four of their last five.

Bradley Beal scored 36 points for Washington. John Wall had 13 points and 15 assists as the Wizards shot 53.6 percent from the field.

James, who is in his 15th NBA season, finished just four points shy of his career-high 61 set in 2014 against the Charlotte Bobcats.

However, there is also something about playing the Wizards that seems to bring out the best in James.

In February, James banked home the game-tying three point shot in the closing seconds of regulation and Cleveland went on to beat Washington 140-135 in overtime in a contest that some considered to be the league’s 2016 to 2017 regular-season game of the year.

Wall and Beal on Friday told reporters that they believe Cleveland purposefully dropped out of the top seed in the playoffs last season to avoid facing Washington in the early rounds.

James played like someone who took that slight to heart.

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