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James’s triple-double powers Cavs past Pistons

Associated Press / March 17, 2010

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LeBron James was shaky early and spectacular late.

James had 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season, lifting the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 113-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons last night in Auburn Hills, Mich.

“Every point, rebound, and assist was needed,’’ Cavs coach Mike Brown said.

The final score was relatively lopsided, but the game wasn’t. There were 10 lead changes and 21 ties, the last one with 4:44 left.

The Cavs closed the game by outscoring Detroit, 19-7, thanks in large part to James.

He set up Mo Williams for a tiebreaking 3-pointer with a sharp pass from the top of the key to the right corner, then grabbed a rebound, charged up the court, and made a drop pass to Anderson Varejao for a five-point cushion.

The Pistons wouldn’t go away, pulling within 3 points three times, before James blocked a shot and made consecutive jumpers to seal the win.

“The guy’s not human,’’ said Detroit’s Will Bynum.

Suns 152, Timberwolves 114 — Jason Richardson scored 27 points and Amare Stoudemire had 25, then sat with the rest of the Phoenix starters while the Suns’ reserves finished off a home rout of Minnesota in the highest-scoring game by an NBA team this season. The Suns shot 56 percent and 15 of 31 from 3-point range to win their ninth in 12 games.

Pacers 99, Bobcats 94 — Danny Granger scored 26 points to help host Indiana beat Charlotte and deny the Bobcats a franchise-record seventh consecutive victory.

Charlotte played its fifth game in eight days, and All-Star forward Gerald Wallace missed his second straight because of an injured ankle.

Lakers 106, Kings 99 — Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, Pau Gasol added 28 points and 11 rebounds, and Los Angeles completed a sweep of their Northern California swing. After committing 24 turnovers and barely holding on for a 124-121 victory at Golden State Monday, the Lakers were much sharper on the back end of their trip.

Spurs 88, Heat 76 — Manu Ginobili scored 22 points, George Hill had 16, and surging San Antonio wasted most of a 25-point, third-quarter lead before winning in Miami.

Nuggets 97, Wizards 87 — J.R. Smith scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, helping host Denver pull away to victory. The game marked the return of Nuggets coach George Karl, who was back on the bench after missing four games for cancer treatments.

Grizzlies 104, Bulls 97 — O.J. Mayo scored 24 points, going 4 of 5 from 3-point range, and host Memphis sent undermanned Chicago to its eighth straight loss. The Bulls were without their top four scorers because of injuries and a suspension.

Hawks 108, Nets 84 — Jamal Crawford hit a 30-footer at the buzzer to cap his game-breaking, 15-point second quarter and visiting Atlanta ran away from New Jersey, which lost for the 60th time in 67 games. New Jersey needs to win three times in its last 15 games to avoid tying or breaking the NBA mark for fewest wins (9) in a season, set by the 1972-73 76ers.

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