|Protective glove on his left hand, LeBron James drives through the Pacers in the second quarter on the way to 2 of his 17 points. (Tony Dejak/Associated Press)|
LeBron James didn't need long to recall the last time he didn't start a game. "Uh, never," he said.
And never again.
"That was one and done for me," James said, smiling. "I will not be coming off the bench anymore."
James came back - as a reserve - and the Cavaliers, sparked by their superstar's return from injury, snapped a six-game losing streak with a 118-105 victory over the Indiana Pacers last night in Cleveland.
James missed Cleveland's last five games with a sprained left index finger. Wearing a glove on his hand, James had 17 points in 22 minutes.
Larry Hughes also came off the bench and scored a season-high 36 points - in just 26 minutes.
"It was a good feeling," James said. "You go through a stretch when you're losing games and people were looking at us like we're not a good team. We knew once we got our guys back that it would be a totally different story."
Raptors 100, Hawks 88 - T.J. Ford scored 26 points before he was sent crashing to the floor on a flagrant foul late in the game, casting a pall over Toronto's victory in Atlanta.
Ford, who missed the 2004-05 season following neck surgery, was on a breakaway when Atlanta rookie Al Horford hit the guard's face with his hand. Ford landed hard, his head bouncing off the floor.
Ford was conscious and teammates said he was moving before he was strapped to a stretcher and taken to the hospital. Horford was ejected.
Clippers 91, Nets 82 - Chris Kaman and Tim Thomas both scored 18 points to lead Los Angeles to its first win in New Jersey in nearly 10 years.
Richard Jefferson led the Nets with 21 points. New Jersey shot 32 percent (26 for 81).
Wizards 102, Timberwolves 88 - Antawn Jamison had 22 points and 13 rebounds and Caron Butler added 20 points and 10 rebounds as host Washington overcame a career-high 36 points from Craig Smith.
Warriors 96, Spurs 84 - Baron Davis had 18 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists and host Golden State took advantage of Tim Duncan sitting out another game to beat San Antonio.
Pistons 113, Grizzlies 103 - Chauncey Billups had 28 points and 14 assists and Richard Hamilton added 27 points as Detroit beat host Memphis.
Bulls 123, SuperSonics 96 - Ben Gordon scored 27 points, Luol Deng added 20, and Chicago scored its most lopsided victory of the season by pounding visiting Seattle.
Trail Blazers 97, Jazz 89 - Minus leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge (foot), Martell Webster scored 25 points and Portland won on the road for just the second time this season.