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James' late foul costs Cavs in loss to Pacers

LEBRON James scored 47 points yesterday, but his foul with 0.2 seconds left allowed Danny Granger to make the winning free throw, giving the Indiana Pacers a 96-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It's the first time this season the Cavaliers have lost two straight games and this one was a surprise because the short-handed Pacers were missing three key players: Mike Dunleavy, Jeff Foster and Marquis Daniels.

The foul ended a bizarre sequence in which T.J. Ford appeared to hit a winning 17-foot fadeaway with 0.8 seconds left. But James drew a foul on an alley-oop and made both free throws with 0.4 seconds to go.

Then the Pacers tried the same play to Granger, and James was called for a foul he strongly disagreed with. Granger hit the first and deliberately missed the second to seal it.

Spurs 108, Nets 93

At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Tim Duncan had 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as San Antonio beat New Jersey for the 13th straight time.

Matt Bonner scored 13 of his 22 points in the opening 5 minutes of the third quarter in helping the Spurs win for the 15th time in 19 games since the start of 2009. Tony Parker added 20 points and Bruce Bowen came off the bench in the third quarter to help cool off a hot Vince Carter, who led the Nets with 25 points.

Devin Harris added 21 points for New Jersey and Brook Lopez added 18 points.

Nuggets 99, Heat 82

At Miami, Chauncey Billups scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, Carmelo Anthony finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, and Denver, swept the series with Miami for the fourth consecutive year.

Kenyon Martin had 18 points and 10 rebounds, while J.R. Smith scored 10 for Denver, which wasted much of a 20-point first-half lead before pulling away late and defeating Miami for the eighth straight time.

Dwyane Wade scored 33 points on 12-for-22 shooting for Miami, while Shawn Marion scored 14 and Mario Chalmers added 10.

Hawks 111, Wizards 90

At Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 22 points as Atlanta downed Washington to bounce back emphatically from its worst loss of the seasons

Atlanta raced to a 9-1 lead before most of the sparse crowd had even settled into its seats. The Hawks pushed the margin as high as 22 points in the second quarter against an injury-plagued team that has managed the modest feat of back-to-back wins only once this season.

The Wizards were coming off a 119-117 victory over the Indiana Pacers. But they missed their first seven shots and never seriously challenged the Hawks, who clearly had something to prove after a 121-97 loss to Clippers over the weekend.

Raptors 110, Timberwolves 102

At Minneapolis, Jason Kapono, the two-time defending 3-point contest champion, scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting as a reserve as Toronto beat Minnesota.

Both teams were missing their big stars.

Jermaine O'Neal had 22 points and eight rebounds and Joey Graham scored 24 for the Raptors.

Randy Foye had a career-high 33 points and eight rebounds for the Wolves.

Mavericks 118, Kings 100

At Dallas, Josh Howard and Antoine Wright both had 23 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 21 and J.J. Barea had 10 as Dallas beat Sacramento.

The Kings (11-42) became the first NBA team guaranteed to have a losing season - and they still have 29 games remaining. Sacramento is 2-13 since beating Dallas 102-95 at home on Jan. 11.

Jason Terry, the team's second-leading scorer (19.9 points a game), broke his left hand against Chicago over the weekend and had surgery Monday. Terry is expected to be out three to six weeks.

Bulls 107, Pistons 102

At Chicago, Ben Gordon converted the go-ahead four-point play, and Derrick Rose and Tyrus Thomas made strong contributions late as Chicago rallied past Detroit.

Playing their first home game since Jan. 23, the Bulls trailed 100-90 with about 3? minutes. But with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen watching, they showed some of their old mettle and finished on a 17-2 run.

The Pistons were without the Allen Iverson, who had the flu. Even so, they appeared to be in good shape before Chicago's rousing finish.

Warriors 144, Knicks 127

At Oakland, California, Stephen Jackson had a season-high 35 points, 10 assists and six rebounds, and Jamal Crawford added 21 points against his former team as Golden State downed New York.

Kelenna Azubuike had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Warriors obliterated their previous season-high for points with almost no defensive opposition from the Knicks, who lost their fifth straight.

Al Harrington had 24 points and nine rebounds amid constant boos from the Oakland fans who embraced him just two years ago. Harrington, who invited the boos with repeated waves of his hand, was traded to the Knicks on Nov. 21 for Crawford.

Lakers 105, Thunder 98

At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant showed no lingering effects from the flu, scoring 34 points and becoming the youngest player in NBA history to reach 23,000.

Bryant had chills and fever and needed intravenous fluids at halftime of Sunday's game against the Cavaliers.

Bryant made a free throw with 5:13 left in the second quarter to become the youngest player in NBA history with 23,000 points at 30 years, 171 days old. He joined 20 others in league history who've reached the mark.

Pau Gasol had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Lamar Odom had 12 points and a season-high 18 boards for the Lakers, just back from a 6-0 trip they concluded with wins against Boston and Cleveland.

Kevin Durant finished with 31 points, his fifth 30-point game in a row, and 10 rebounds in the loss. Russell Westbrook had 17 points and nine rebounds.


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