By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James had 37 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Brooklyn Nets 121-114 on Sunday for their fifth straight victory.
James kept up his latest sensational stretch by going 14 for 19 from the floor. He reached 2,000 points in a season for the 10th time, joining Karl Malone and Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to do that.
Kevin Love added 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who came in averaging 122.5 points during the streak and just about reached that even with a slow start. Jordan Clarkson had 18 points, George Hill scored 17 and Rodney Hood finished with 16.
Former Cavs guard Joe Harris scored a career-high 30 points for the Nets, who lost their third straight. Just as they did Friday in Toronto, the Nets hung in against one of the East’s best but didn’t have enough to pull it out.
Harris’ two free throws with 6:17 left gave Brooklyn its last lead at 100-99 before Cleveland ran off eight straight points. James had two baskets during the run, both backboard-shaking slams on lob passes.
The lead grew to 10, and when the Nets got it down to five, James halted their charge by running down the clock and nailing a 3-pointer that made it 119-111 with 39 seconds remaining.
The Cavs missed their first eight shots before James took one, which he made. He had 12 points in the first quarter, including his latest powerhouse dunk when Harris made an ultimately useless attempt to get in his way.
But Harris rebounded nicely from being on the wrong end of James’ highlight, going 8 for 9 in the first half and making all four of his 3-pointers as the Nets took a 62-60 lead.
Cavaliers: James had triple-doubles in two of the first three meetings with the Nets this season, including when the Cavs lost in Brooklyn in October. … Cleveland played without forward Jeff Green because of an illness.
Nets: DeMarre Carroll had 18 points. He came in averaging 15.5 in March, the highest total of any month in his nine-year career. … The Nets have just two home games remaining. Six of the Nets’ final eight are on the road.
James reached 2,000 points in a season for the first time since 2013-14. Malone (12) and Jordan (11) previously did it.
Cavaliers: Visit Miami on Tuesday.
Nets: Visit Orlando on Wednesday.
© 2018, Forrest Church. All rights reserved.