James leads Cavaliers to win over Nets
Latest triple-double helps LeBron make NBA history
The Associated Press
CLEVELAND — LeBron James had quite a February, and continues a one-of-a-kind career.
He finished the month averaging a triple-double for the first time in his career after having 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists on Tuesday in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 129-123 win over the Brooklyn Nets. James has 12 triple-doubles this season and 67 in his career.
“Scoring has always been last for me,” James said. “I’ve never looked at myself as a scorer. But to know the history of the game and seeing the guys that put up triple-doubles on a regular (basis) from Jason Kidd to Magic Johnson to Oscar Robertson to Russell Westbrook, you can throw my name in there as well.”
His 11th assist on Tuesday came late in the game and gave him 8,000 in his career. He’s the first player in NBA history with 30,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists.
“With the long list of so many great players that have come through this league, in the history of this league, for me to be the only (person) in a category, I think it’s pretty cool,” James said. “It’s pretty cool.”
James also became the first frontcourt player and the 11th overall in league history to reach 8,000 assists.
Rodney Hood’s three-point play with 40 seconds remaining gave Cleveland a 123-121 lead. James and George Hill hit two free throws each in the final 16 seconds to seal the win.
Jarrett Allen’s two free throws gave Brooklyn a 119-117 lead with 1:18 to play. Jordan Clarkson’s 3-pointer put Cleveland ahead, but Allen Crabbe’s runner in the lane put the Nets up 121-120.
Hood, one of four players acquired at the trade deadline, hit a jumper from the wing and made the foul shot that gave Cleveland a two-point lead.
“The play kind of broke down,” Hood said. “He (Jarrett Allen) cut me off. I stepped back. It’s a shot I work on all the time.”
Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who scored 14 points, wasn’t surprised about James’ performance.
“He’s a superstar player and is super aggressive, and he just took over,” he said. “It came down to a lot of tough shots being made, and LeBron getting them.”
The win could also help Cleveland’s position in the NBA draft. The Cavaliers own Brooklyn’s No. 1 pick, acquired in a trade with Boston. The Nets have the seventh-worst record in the league, but have lost nine of 10.
Hill, also acquired at the trade deadline, scored a season-high 26 points and Cleveland placed six in double figures.
D’Angelo Russell led Brooklyn with 25 points. Caris LeVert scored 18 while DeMarre Carroll had 16.