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James rebounds as Cavs top Spurs

LEBRON James rebounded from a poor performance a night earlier to record 30 points and 14 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the ailing San Antonio Spurs 97-86 on Friday.

In a blowout loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday, Cleveland's All-Star forward shot just 7-for-21 and went without an assist for the first time in his career.

But he started quickly with 15 first-quarter points against the Spurs on Friday and the Cavaliers broke the game open late to win for the sixth time in their last seven contests.

"I don't take pride in me not having any assists. That's not my game and I never want that to happen again," James told reporters after recording four assists in Friday's win.

"Tonight I was able to get my guys in the flow of the game and put us in the best position to win the ballgame."

In other National Basketball Association games, it was: Nuggets 90, Lakers 79; Celtics 104, Pacers 99; Pistons 93, Magic 85; Hornets 95, Bucks 94; Hawks 91, Heat 83; Suns 133, Raptors 103; Trail Blazers 102, Timberwolves 82; 76ers 108, Knicks 103; Mavericks 110, Thunder 108 (in overtime); Bobcats 112, Warriors 109; Wizards 113, Bulls 90; and Kings 98, Clippers 86.

In San Antonio, Texas, four Spurs players scored 11 points, including Tony Parker, who shot just 3-for-16 from the field.

Carrying the load

The French point guard has been carrying the load while San Antonio is without power forward Tim Duncan (quadriceps) and high-scoring guard Manu Ginobili (ankle).

James made a trio of three-pointers in a row midway through the third quarter before sitting out the fourth.

Delonte West added 17 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavs, who played their first game without Ben Wallace after he broke his right leg on Thursday.

In Denver, Colorado, the Nuggets showed they cannot be counted out of the title race just yet, ending a nine-game losing skid in style with victory over the league-leading Los Angeles Lakers.

J.R. Smith scored 22 points in a good defensive performance by the Nuggets, who had seen their Northwest Division lead sliced to 2-1/2 games.

The Lakers had their second-worst shooting night since the franchise moved to Los Angeles - 29.8 percent. They were on pace for their worst ever until a layup with five seconds left saw them rise above the low-water mark of 29.4 percent set in 2004.

Kobe Bryant scored 29 points but he needed 31 shots to do it, sinking just 10 of them.

In Boston, new signing Stephon Marbury scored six points in the tight fourth quarter to help Boston edge Indiana.

The former New York Knicks point guard made a brief but important appearance just hours after signing with the Celtics.

Ray Allen topped the Celtics' scoring sheet with 30 points, while Rajon Rondo matched a career-high with 17 assists.


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