LeBron James scored 57 points the second-highest total of his career and an NBA-best this season and the Cleveland Cavaliers stopped a four-game slide with a 130-122 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
James hadn’t scored this much since getting a career-high 61 for the Miami Heat on March 3, 2014, against the Charlotte Hornets. And the four-time league MVP did it efficiently Friday, making 23 of 34 field-goal tries and all nine free throws while adding 11 rebounds and seven assists.
James did it with style, too. He hurdled over a seated Bradley Beal while dribbling, swatted a shot by John Wall off the backboard, and looked for a camera to wag both index fingers in the midst of a three-point play. Beal had 36 points for Washington, and Wall finished with 13 points and 15 assists. But Wall was 4 for 13 from the field and 5 for 12 at the line.
CELTICS 101, THUNDER 94
Kyrie Irving scored 22 of his 25 points in the second half, and the Celtics rallied from 18 down for their seventh straight victory.
Al Horford scored 17 of his 20 points after halftime and Jaylen Brown added 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Celtics. Boston has allowed 94 or fewer points in every game during its winning streak.
Paul George had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook added 19 points and 11 assists for the Thunder. Carmelo Anthony had 10 points and 14 rebounds but shot just 3 of 17.
76ERS 121, PACERS 110
JJ Redick scored 31 points, Ben Simmons had a triple-double and Philadelphia moved above .500 for the first time in nearly four years.
Redick was 8 of 12 from 3-point range, including the go-ahead shot with 2:06 left, another 3 to barely beat the shot clock with 1:08 remaining and a third from the left corner to make it 119-110 with 46 seconds left.
Simmons had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his second triple-double in a rookie season delayed a year because of injury. The Sixers (5-4) hadn’t had a winning record since they were also 5-4 on Nov. 13, 2013, but their painful rebuild appears near an end as they won their fourth straight game.
Victor Oladipo had 31 points for Indiana, which had won three in a row.
SPURS 108, HORNETS 101
Bryn Forbes had 22 points, helping San Antonio stop a four-game skid. The Spurs played without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, who are out with quadriceps injuries. Charlotte was without Nicholas Batum and Michael Carter-Williams, who also have not played this season, along with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Rudy Gay scored 20 points and Dejounte Murray had 10, joining Forbes to help San Antonio’s reserves outscore Charlotte’s 64-16. Jeremy Lamb led Charlotte with 27 points. The Hornets had won three in a row.
KNICKS 120, SUNS 107
Kristaps Porzingis scored 37 points, and Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek got his first victory over his former team. Porzingis fell just shy of the career-best 38 points he scored Monday against Denver, getting his final points with a highlight-reel, end-to-end possession with just under 5 minutes remaining.
He raced back in transition for an emphatic block on rookie Josh Jackson, and then got the ball back in transition for a powerful dunk while being fouled.
The Suns swept the two-game series last season, Hornacek’s first coaching the Knicks. He spent 2 1/2 seasons coaching the Suns from 2013-16.
Devin Booker scored 34 points for the Suns, who had won four of five. Phoenix lost forward T.J. Warren to a head injury in the first half, a game after he scored a career-best 40 points.
ROCKETS 119, HAWKS 104
James Harden scored 21 of his 29 points in Houston’s high-scoring first half, and the Rockets handed the Hawks their eighth straight loss. Eric Gordon and Luc Mbah a Moute each scored 20 points for Houston, which improved to 6-1 on the road.
Kent Bazemore scored 18 points for the Hawks (1-8), who have not won since their season-opening victory at Dallas.
Houston led 69-51 at halftime with its highest-scoring half of the season. The Rockets went 11 for 22 from 3-point range in the first half and 16 for 47 from beyond the arc for the game.
Dennis Schroder and Taurean Prince each had 16 points for Atlanta.
PELICANS 99, MAVERICKS 94
Anthony Davis had 30 points and 13 rebounds, DeMarcus Cousins added his second 20-20 game of the season and the Pelicans started a four-game trip with a victory over the last-place Mavericks.
Harrison Barnes scored a season-high 26 points for the Mavericks, who are 1-9 for the first time since 1993-94.
Cousins had 20 points, 22 rebounds and seven assists for the Pelicans, who were coming off two straight home losses. The 6-foot-11 center, who tied his career high with 20 defensive rebounds, had season highs of 41 points and 23 rebounds in a win at Sacramento last week.
NUGGETS 95, HEAT 94
Paul Millsap had 27 points for Denver, including three straight free throws with 11.9 seconds remaining. Nikola Jokic added 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Nuggets shook off some late struggles at the line to win their second straight on a six-game homestand.
Millsap delivered at a key moment. After missing three of his previous four foul shots, the Nuggets’ big offseason acquisition was fouled at the 3-point line by James Johnson and sunk each of his free throws.
Dion Waiters nearly won it for Miami on the other end with a 3-pointer that rattled in and out in the final second. Goran Dragic scored 23 points for the Heat.
PISTONS 105, BUCKS 96
Andre Drummond scored 14 of his 24 points in the third quarter, powering Detroit to the win. Drummond, who has shot under 40 percent from the free-throw line in his career, went 10 of 12 in the third, drawing a roar of approval from fans. He went 14 for 16 on the night, the most he’s ever made in his career, and is shooting 78 percent from the line this season.
Avery Bradley scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half for the Pistons, who went on a 21-5 run late in the second quarter and led 59-48 at halftime. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points for Milwaukee.
RAPTORS 109, JAZZ 100
DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 37 points, and Toronto finished its longest road trip of the season with a victory. DeRozan made all 14 of his free throws and added a trio of 3-pointers to complement his mid-range offensive game. His 17 third-quarter points helped stake the Raptors to a lead they never relinquished in handing the Jazz their first loss in six home games.
Toronto went 3-3 on its Western Conference road swing. Rookie guard Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points for Utah, and Rodney Hood had 17 on 6-for-19 shooting.
BULLS 105, MAGIC 83
Justin Holiday scored 19 points, Robin Lopez had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and the Bulls earned their first road win of the season.
Chicago had seven players score in double figures. David Nwaba had 16 points, and rookie Lauri Markkanen made three 3-pointers on his way to 13 points. Evan Fournier led Orlando with 21 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 14 points. Aaron Gordon added 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Magic led 45-44 at halftime, but the Bulls pulled away with a big second half. Lopez scored each of his 11 points in the third as Chicago outscored Orlando 29-15 in the period.