James sets career high for assists as Cavs win

Alex Kratman

CLEVELAND (AP)—LeBron James(notes) tied a career high with 15 assists to help the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the worn-down Memphis Grizzlies 105-89 on Tuesday for their ninth straight NBA victory.

James scored 22 but was more focused on setting up his teammates. It was the fifth time in six games he has had at least 10 assists, accepting the challenge of running Cleveland’s offense while the club waits for guards Mo Williams(notes) and Delonte West(notes) to return from injuries.

Shaquille O’Neal(notes) ruled beneath the hoop, collecting 13 points and 13 rebounds in 21 minutes as Cleveland again won comfortably—the Cavaliers have won their past four games by an average of 19 points.

 Rudy Gay(notes) scored 15 for Memphis, playing its fourth game in five nights.

Thunder 106, Hawks 99
In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant(notes) had 33 points and 11 rebounds as Oklahoma City recovered from blowing a 13-point lead and still beat Atlanta.

Durant became the first player since Allen Iverson(notes) nine seasons ago to score at least 25 points in 22 consecutive games. He made two free throws with 10 seconds left to complete a perfect 14-for-14 night at the foul line.

With Atlanta within two points, Durant hit jump shot of back-to-back possessions to make it 97-93 and then set up a three points by Jeff Green(notes) and a layup by Russell Westbrook(notes) that sealed the result.

Green finished with 19 points.

Magic 99, Bucks 82
In Orlando, Florida, Vince Carter(notes) had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to lead undermanned Orlando over Milwaukee.

The struggling shooting guard had by far his most efficient game in more than a month, giving Orlando its seventh win in eight games.

Charlie Bell(notes) and Luke Ridnour(notes) had 13 points apiece for the Bucks, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Milwaukee fell to 0-3 against Orlando this season.

Clippers 90, Bulls 82
In Chicago, Los Angeles snapped a four-game losing skid with a surprise win over Chicago.

Chris Kaman(notes) had 21 points and 11 rebounds in his return from injury and Eric Gordon(notes) scored 24 points for the Clippers.

Back home after finishing a long road trip with five impressive victories over good Western Conference teams, the Bulls shot 38 percent and committed 20 turnovers in losing to the struggling Clippers.

Luol Deng(notes) scored 16 of his 18 points in the first quarter for Chicago.

Pacers 130, Raptors 115
In Indianapolis, Toronto’s run of five straight wins was ended in a high-scoring encounter against Indiana.

Danny Granger(notes) scored 23 points and Troy Murphy(notes) had 20 points and 14 rebounds as Indiana got its first win in four.

Lester Conner coached the Pacers in place of Jim O’Brien, who attended a family funeral.

Chris Bosh(notes) had 35 points and 15 rebounds for the Raptors.

Rockets 119, Warriors 97
In Houston, Aaron Brooks(notes) and Carl Landry(notes) scored 24 points apiece to lead Houston over Golden State.

The Rockets still finished their season-longest six-game homestand with a disappointing 2-4 record.

Monta Ellis(notes) scored 34 points for the Warriors, who’ve lost six in a row overall and 12 of their past 13 road games. Corey Maggette(notes), Golden State’s second-leading scorer, sat out with a hip injury.

The Rockets shot 50 percent and outrebounded the Warriors 57-35 to beat Golden State for the ninth straight time.

Pistons 97, Nets 93
In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Detroit won its first game in six by edging dismal New Jersey.

Tayshaun Prince(notes) slammed down a dunk on an inbounds play with 46 seconds left to put the Pistons ahead to stay.

Richard Hamilton(notes) had 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including three free throws in the final 21 seconds.

Brook Lopez(notes) led New Jersey with 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field. The Nets were outscored 10-2 in the final 2:22.