James' late free throws lift Cavs
MIAMI — LeBron James and Dwyane Wade walked off the court at halftime, smiling toward each other after an epic performance worthy of superstars.
At game's end, only James left happy.
James hit two free throws after a scary tumble and blow to the head with 4.1 seconds left for the winning points, and Wade missed a jumper over the reigning MVP's outstretched arm at the buzzer as the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Miami Heat, 92-91, last night.
"It came down to one possession," said James, who matched Wade with a game-high 32 points. "Whoever got the last stop was going to win the game. Luckily it was us."
Wade had 30 at halftime, then only two the rest of the way — and missed two big free throws with 41.2 seconds left, part of a 1-of-6 showing from the line by the Heat in the fourth quarter.
On James' last-second layup, he and Wade went toward the hoop together, with Quentin Richardson defending as well. Both James and Wade landed awkwardly, and James writhed in pain for about 2 minutes as the entire Cavs' bench came out to check on their fallen leader. He got up, walked Richardson's foul off and made two free throws with 4.1 seconds left for a 92-91 lead.
Wade's shot bounced off the iron, and it was over.
The teams scored 46 points total in the second quarter. James (20) and Wade (17) combined for 37 of them.
Celtics 95, Clippers 89: Paul Pierce scored 22 points, and Rajon Rondo had 16 points and 12 assists, leading host Boston over Los Angeles. Boston forward Kevin Garnett played his second straight after missing 10 consecutive games with a hyperextended right knee. He finished with 17 points in 30 minutes.
Grizzlies 99, Magic 94: Zach Randolph had 23 points and 19 rebounds, O.J. Mayo added 20 points and Memphis won its 11th straight home game. Marc Gasol added 19 points, Rudy Gay had 15, and Mike Conley finished with 14 points and seven assists for the Grizzlies.
Hawks 102, Rockets 95: Josh Smith scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Atlanta snapped a 10-game losing streak in Houston. Joe Johnson scored 20 points and Jamal Crawford added 17 as the Hawks won in the Toyota Center for the first time in seven visits.
Jazz 124, Suns 115: Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 20 rebounds, and rookie Wesley Matthews scored 10 of his career-high 21 points in the fourth quarter as host Utah beat Phoenix. Andrei Kirilenko had 25 points, and Deron Williams finished with 18 points and 11 assists for the Jazz, who trailed by 17 in the third quarter.
Hornets 98, Blazers 97: Chris Paul made a 15-foot jumper with 3.8 seconds remaining, lifting visiting New Orleans over Portland. With the Hornets trailing by a point, Paul was left wide open at the free-throw line when he caught a pass and buried the shot. Paul led all scorers with 24 points, and also had 12 assists.
Nuggets 104, Bobcats 93: Chauncey Billups scored 27 points, Aaron Afflalo matched his career high with 24 points and host Denver beat Charlotte for its season-high seventh straight win. Stephen Jackson had 22 points for the Bobcats.
Pacers 109, 76ers 98: Danny Granger scored 26 points and Dahntay Jones had 18 points to lead visiting Indiana over Philadelphia. Jones scored seven straight points late in the game for the Pacers.
Bulls 98, Spurs 93: Derrick Rose shook off flulike symptoms to score 27 points and visiting Chicago won its third straight. Kirk Hinrich added 18 points for the Bulls.
Wizards: Washington guard Javaris Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge yesterday, explaining he had a pistol because he feared teammate Gilbert Arenas would shoot him or blow up his car after the two argued over a card game.
The hearing marked the first time authorities confirmed Crittenton was the other player involved in the confrontation with Arenas, who pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to a felony gun charge.
D.C. Superior Court Senior Judge Bruce Beaudin sentenced Crittenton, 22, to a year of unsupervised probation after Crittenton pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of an unregistered firearm.