LeBron James is accustomed to having the ball when the game is on the line. So when he does give it up, don't even think about passing on the shot.
James scored eight of his 31 points in the second overtime, pulled down a career-high 19 rebounds and led Cleveland to a 113-106 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.
But it wasn't just his offense that carried the Cavaliers - it was some helpful advice he gave to Damon Jones, whose 3-pointer from the corner in the second overtime gave Cleveland a 109-102 lead with 1:27 left, putting the game away.
``He passed up a few,'' James said, ``and I told him not to pass them up if I was going to throw him the ball.''
After a December swoon in which they won just five of 14, the defending Eastern Conference champions are suddenly winners of five of six and back above .500 (19-18). The Cavaliers have also won five straight at home, their last loss coming to Golden State on Dec. 23.
In other NBA games Friday, it was the Los Angeles Lakers 110, Milwaukee 105; Boston 86, New Jersey 77; Toronto 99, New York 90; Dallas 90, Seattle 70; Chicago 100, Philadelphia 97; Washington 102, Atlanta 98; New Orleans 114, Miami 88; Houston 113, Minnesota 82; Denver 113, Orlando 103; and Golden State 116, Memphis 104.
For most of the second half, it appeared the Bobcats would be the ones posting another impressive win. After knocking off New Jersey and Boston on the road this week, Cleveland led 93-90 on a pair of free throws by Larry Hughes with 5.7 seconds left. But with no timeouts, Raymond Felton drove the length of the floor and hit the tying jumper with .03 seconds left, sending it to overtime.
The game was tied at 100 after the first overtime, and James scored six points before Jones buried his 3 from the corner in the second overtime to seal the win.
Anderson Varejao, who was questionable going into the game because of knee and Achilles' tendon injuries, grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds and scored 16 points for the Cavaliers. Hughes finished with 16 points.
Gerald Wallace led Charlotte with 27 points, and Nazr Mohammed added 21.
``We got sloppy and lost a lot of our mental focus at the end,'' Wallace said. ``It was a win that was right there for us to steal and I think we ran out of gas when it came time for us to steal it.''
Lakers 110, Bucks 105
Kobe Bryant scored 16 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter despite a viral upper respiratory infection, Andrew Bynum had 25 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, and host Los Angeles got its season-high fifth straight victory.
Mo Williams scored 28 points for the Bucks.
Celtics 86, Nets 77
Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Paul Pierce added 18 points and Ray Allen 16 as visiting Boston got its 30th win of the season.
Richard Jefferson led the Nets with 17 points, Vince Carter had 16 and Josh Boone added 14 and a career-high 16 rebounds.
Raptors 99, Knicks 90
In New York, Chris Bosh had 40 points and 11 rebounds, and Toronto rolled over the Knicks.
Starting forward Zach Randolph was benched the final 31-plus minutes after appearing to have a dispute with Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. Randolph was yanked 20 seconds after committing an offensive foul with 7:35 remaining in the first half.
Hornets 114, Heat 88
Bobby Jackson made a career-high seven 3-pointers and finished with 25 points to lead host New Orleans (24-12), which is off to the best 36-game start in team history.
Mark Blount led Miami with 27 points.
Wizards 102, Hawks 98, OT
Hours after commissioner David Stern took away an Atlanta win in the afternoon, the Hawks fell in overtime as Antawn Jamison scored 22 points and Caron Butler added 21 to lead visiting Washington.
Antonio Daniels scored off a finger roll with 37.5 seconds left in overtime to put the Wizards ahead to stay. Butler and Daniels sealed the win at the line, going 6-of-6 the rest of the way.
Bulls 100, 76ers 97
Andres Nocioni scored 27 points, Joe Smith added 19 and Chicago rallied to beat host Philadelphia.
Andre Iguodala scored 25 points, Samuel Dalembert had 21 and a season-high 20 rebounds, and Andre Miller added 20 points for the Sixers, who dropped their season-high sixth straight.
Rockets 113, Timberwolves 82
Luis Scola had 22 points and nine rebounds and rookie Carl Landry had 15 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs, as Houston won for the seventh time in the nine games Tracy McGrady has missed with a left knee injury.
Ryan Gomes had 20 points and six rebounds for Minnesota, which has lost 15 of 17 games overall and 13 straight on the road.
Nuggets 113, Magic 103
Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points and Anthony Carter had 14 of his career high-tying 21 in the fourth quarter to lead host Denver. Allen Iverson added 21 points and 13 assists, and also had five rebounds, giving him 3,000 for his career.
Orlando's Dwight Howard finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds, his NBA-leading 33rd double-double of the season.
Mavericks 90, SuperSonics 70
Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points in just three quarters, Josh Howard added 18 and visiting Dallas overcame some early shooting woes for its season-best sixth straight win.
Reserve Wally Szczerbiak led Seattle with 17 points, but Seattle lost its sixth straight.
Warriors 116, Grizzlies 104
Monta Ellis made his first 11 shots and scored 27 points, helping Golden State beat Memphis for the fifth straight time.
Baron Davis set a career high with 19 assists and scored 20 points as the Warriors won for the 10th time in their past 13 home games.
Pau Gasol scored a season-high 43 points, one shy of his career best, and had 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies.

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