LeBron James has made a habit this season of saving his best effort for the fourth quarter when the game is on the line.
James scored a season-high 51 points, including 25 in the fourth quarter and overtime, to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 132-124 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.
He leads the league in scoring average in the fourth quarter with 9.4 points. Down the stretch in both regulation and overtime, Cleveland had him running the show. In addition to the 25 points in the final two frames, James had four assists.
``We have a fourth-quarter team right now that's playing really good basketball,'' James said. ``We didn't get stops like we usually get, but for some odd reason, we know how to execute on the offensive end. We make plays, and we make big plays.''
It was the fourth time the league's leading-scorer has reached 50 points in his career.
James made 18 of 28 shots and had nine assists and eight rebounds as the Cavaliers handed the Grizzlies their fifth straight loss. James' career high is 56 points against Toronto in March 2005. The 51 points matched the best scoring performance in the NBA this season. Denver's Allen Iverson had 51 against the Lakers on Dec. 5.
``LeBron is fantastic,'' Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. ``I think he's got more passing ability than Magic (Johnson) because he can put it on a dime and with zip. It's a function of his ability to score. He allows people to get free. He's 6-foot-9, and he can see.''
In other NBA games Tuesday night, it was: New York 105, Washington 93; Detroit 103, Toronto 89; Atlanta 104, Denver 93; Orlando 102, Chicago 88; Philadelphia 111, Houston 107; Golden State 105, Minnesota 98; and the Los Angeles Clippers 97, Phoenix 90.
Rudy Gay scored 30 for the Grizzlies, and reserve Juan Carlos Navarro went 6-for-10 from 3-point range on his way to 26 points. Mike Conley had a career-high 20 points, and added seven assists.
``Once again, it's a tough game to get over, losing these game by a couple of possessions,'' Conley said. ``I thought we fought hard. We got the game back into overtime. We started off overtime pretty well, but they just kept fighting back at us and got the ball to bounce their way a couple of times.''
Knicks 105, Wizards 93
Jamal Crawford scored 29 points and host New York won consecutive games for only the third time this season.
Zach Randolph and Nate Robinson added 14 points apiece for the Knicks, who will go for their first three-game winning streak of the season Wednesday at New Jersey. The Knicks built a 22-point lead in the first half, then turned back every push by Washington, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Both victories came without starting point guard Stephon Marbury, who has bone spurs in his left ankle and will also miss Wednesday's game.
Caron Butler scored 24 points and Antawn Jamison had 21 for the Wizards.
Pistons 103, Raptors 89
Richard Hamilton scored a season-high 39 points as Detroit rebounded from an embarrassing loss by beating visiting Toronto.
Hamilton hit 16 of 22 shots in Detroit's first game since losing 89-65 to last-place New York on Sunday. Chauncey Billups added 20 points for Detroit and Antonio McDyess had nine points, 12 rebounds and a career-high seven steals.
Chris Bosh, who averaged 39 points in Toronto's last two games, was held to 16 by the team that passed on him for Darko Milicic in the 2003 draft.
Hawks 104, Nuggets 93
Joe Johnson scored 22 points and host Atlanta held off a late rally by Denver.
Denver, which trailed by 25 early in the third quarter, cut the lead to 101-93 on Carmelo Anthony's fallaway with 1:50 left. But Denver's Allen Iverson and J.R. Smith were ejected with 38.9 seconds left and the Nuggets could get no closer.
Iverson was called for turnovers on consecutive possessions. Iverson, hoping for a foul call on the second turnover, protested to officials and was ejected. Smith joined the argument, also earning his early exit.
Anthony scored 36 points, Iverson had 27 and Smith 21.
Marvin Williams scored 19 and Josh Childress 17 for Atlanta.
Magic 102, Bulls 88
Rashard Lewis scored 26 points and Dwight Howard added 15 and 11 rebounds to lead host Orlando.
Brian Cook, playing for only the second time in the last 14 games, had 14 points in just 13 minutes off the bench. Keith Bogans added 15 points for Orlando, which had lost five of its last six games.
Chicago, which was outscored 32-10 in the decisive third period, had only three players in double figures. Joe Smith led the way with 13 points.
76ers 111, Rockets 107
Andre Miller scored 26 points, Samuel Dalembert added 19 points and blocked a shot in the final seconds, and visiting Philadelphia rallied from 16 points down.
Louis Williams scored 18 and Andre Iguodala had 17 for the Sixers, who snapped a seven-game losing streak and a five-game road skid.
Yao Ming scored 25 points and Rafer Alston added 20 for Houston, which dropped to 7-4 since Tracy McGrady went out with a left knee injury. McGrady is expected to play against San Antonio on Saturday.
Warriors 105, Timberwolves 98
At Minneapolis, Baron Davis had 22 points, nine assists and a season-high five steals to lead Golden State.
Stephen Jackson added 21 points for the Warriors.
Antoine Walker had season highs with 26 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Minnesota, which has lost three in a row. Al Jefferson added 18 points and 14 boards.
Clippers 97, Suns 90
Sam Cassell broke out of a shooting slump in a big way, scoring 32 points to help host Los Angeles knock Phoenix out of first place in the Western Conference.
The 38-year-old Cassell, who was 7-for-31 in his previous four games, burned the Suns by making 15 of 21 shots to help the Clippers snap a four-game losing streak and win for just the second time in 12 games.
Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 29 points and eight rebounds.

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