|James goes from Cavs' top pick to their top scorer in less than five years|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 21 March 2008 23:29|
James passed Brad Daugherty in the first quarter and finished with 29 points, leading the Cavaliers to a 90-83 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night in a possible first-round playoff preview.
James has 10,414 points in just 380 games. He scored 23 points in the second half, including 11 in the final 7:19 as the Cavaliers won their ninth straight at home.
It took Daugherty 548 games to amass 10,389 points.
``These fans have watched me go from zero points to 10,000,'' James said. ``They've seen me go from a young man to a man now. It's one of the best experiences I've had. To be the all-time leader is something that I never dreamed of. But now that it's here, it's an unbelievable feeling.''
In other games Friday night, it was: Houston 109, Golden State 106; the Los Angeles Lakers 130, Seattle 105; Memphis 120, New York 106; Denver 125, New Jersey 114; San Antonio 102, Sacramento 89; Indiana 124, Minnesota 113; Washington 103, Miami 86; Orlando 112, Philadelphia 95; Portland 107, the Los Angeles Clippers 102.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 16 points, Devin Brown scored 14 and Damon Jones knocked down two crucial 3-pointers early in the fourth for Cleveland, which opened a 4 1/2-game lead over the Raptors for the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors nearly spoiled James' historic night, pulling even at 77 on T.J. Ford's jumper with 5:24 left. But James' dunk made it 81-77, and after Chris Bosh scored, Ilgauskas made two free throws to give Cleveland an 83-79 cushion.
James, who always has a flair for the dramatic, then hit a 3-pointer to put the Cavs up 86-79 and end Toronto's upset bid. Only 23 and with a team record already behind him, few would be surprised if someday James owned an NBA one.
``It took me 13 years to get 10,000 points,'' Cavs forward Joe Smith said. ``It goes to show what kind of talent he is. I know he has at least 30,000 more in him.''
Bosh scored 24 points in his second game back after missing 10 with a sore knee for Toronto, which slipped to No. 6 in the East. Rasho Nesterovic added 16 for the Raptors, who held the Miami Heat to 54 points in a win on Wednesday night.
Rockets 109, Warriors 106
At Oakland, Calif., Tracy McGrady scored 26 points, Bobby Jackson hit an improbable 3-pointer and Houston got back to its winning ways.
Houston had lost two straight following a 22-game winning streak that was the second longest in NBA history. The power-packed Western Conference gave the Rockets little cushion and a third straight loss would have dropped them into a tie for sixth place with San Antonio in the conference.
Baron Davis scored 27 points for Golden State.
Lakers 130, SuperSonics 105
At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 23 points to help the Lakers hand Seattle its 10th straight loss.
The Western Conference-leading Lakers returned to Staples Center from a 2-2 road trip that concluded with victories over Dallas and Utah. They never trailed in their sixth straight win over the Sonics, whose 16-53 record is the second-worst in the NBA.
Rookie Kevin Durant had 20 points for the Sonics.
Grizzlies 120, Knicks 106
At New York, Mike Miller scored 24 of his season-high 34 points in the first half, and Memphis snapped an 18-game road losing streak.
Rudy Gay added 24 points for the Grizzlies, who stormed to a 19-point halftime lead, blew it all before the end of the third quarter, then pulled away again for their first win outside Memphis since beating Indiana on Jan. 2.
Jamal Crawford scored 22 points for the Knicks (19-49), who have lost three straight, 10 of 11, and matched their loss total from all of last season.
Nuggets 125, Nets 114
At East Rutherford, N.J., Allen Iverson had 26 points and nine assists and led a fourth-quarter spurt that carried Denver.
Backup forward Linas Kleiza added 23 points and Marcus Camby had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets. Vince Carter scored 32 points for the Nets, a half-game behind idle Atlanta in the race for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Spurs 102, Kings 89
At San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 21 points and 13 rebounds for San Antonio.
Tony Parker added 19 points for the Spurs, who have won two straight after snapping a season-high four-game losing streak Thursday night in Chicago. Ron Artest scored 23 points for the Kings.
Pacers 124, Timberwolves 113
At Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 32 points in Indiana's fifth straight home win. Mike Dunleavy finished with 25 points and seven assists and Troy Murphy added 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Pacers. Rashad McCants had 22 points for Minnesota.
Wizards 103, Heat 86
At Miami, Caron Butler scored 25 points and Antawn Jamison added 22 points and 10 rebounds for Washington. Bobby Jones scored 15 points for the Heat, who have lost 10 of their past 11 games and 37 of their past 41.
Magic 113, 76ers 95
At Orlando, Fla., Rashard Lewis scored 18 points to lead Orlando, and Dwight Howard had 13 points and 12 rebounds in only 23 minutes. Louis Williams had 18 points for Philadelphia.
Trail Blazers 107, Clippers 102
At Portland, Ore., LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high seven assists for the Trail Blazers. Cuttino Mobley scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half for Los Angeles.