LeBron James had 37 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the host Brooklyn Nets 121-114 on Sunday for their fifth win in a row.
James became the third player to reach 2,000 points in a season for the 10th time, joining Karl Malone and Michael Jordan.
Associate head coach Larry Drew, running the team in Tyronn Lue’s place, was asked to make an MVP case for James.
“You just look at the stat sheet,” Drew said, “and it’s just not about points, it’s what he’s doing on the boards, it’s what he’s doing from an assists standpoint. He’s just a force. He’s a force and I mean he has put up MVP numbers without a doubt.”
Kevin Love had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Joe Harris scored a career-high 30 points for the Nets, who have lost three games in a row.
at Indiana 113, Miami 107 (OT): Victor Oladipo had 23 points to help clinch a playoff spot for the Pacers, who scored 11 consecutive points in overtime to pull away. Philadelphia also clinched a playoff spot by virtue of Miami’s loss.
at Milwaukee 106, San Antonio 103: Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from an ankle injury to score 25 points and the Bucks held on after leading by 15 points with eight minutes left.
New York 101, at Washington 97: Trey Burke scored 19 points in his first start in three years, leading eight Knicks in double figures. It’s the second three-game skid of the season for the Wizards.
Boston 104, at Sacramento 93: Terry Rozier made eight three-point baskets on the way to a career-high 33 points. Isaiah Thomas and Antoine Walker hold the Celtics record with nine three-pointers in a game.
Portland 108, at Oklahoma City 105: C.J. McCollum scored 34 points, Damian Lillard had 24 and the Trail Blazers swept the four games with the Thunder.
Utah 110, at Golden State 91: Rudy Gobert had 17 points and 15 rebounds, and the Jazz pulled away from the undermanned Warriors, who played without their four injured All-Stars.
at Houston 118, Atlanta 99: James Harden had 18 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Rockets became the 18th NBA team to reach 60 victories in the 74th game of a season.