LeBron James lifts Cavaliers to 11th consecutive win

LeBron James drives Memphis Grizzlies' Jarell Martin in the first half.
(Tony Dejak / Associated Press)

Cleveland’s winning streak was in unexpected jeopardy Saturday night before LeBron James took over.

James scored 34 points, including seven in the final 1:22, as the host Cavaliers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 116-111 for their 11th straight victory.

“When it’s winning time in the fourth quarter, my teammates want me to step up and do what I do best,” James said.


The loss was the 11th straight for Memphis, including three since David Fizdale was fired Monday and replaced by interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, but the Grizzlies nearly ended their streak in shocking fashion.

Memphis trailed 91-72 late in the third quarter, but rallied all the way to a tie at 109 on Dillon Brooks’ three-pointer with 2:10 remaining.

A basked by James gave the Cavaliers the lead, and he extended the lead by converting on a three-point play with 34 seconds left. He also made the Cavaliers’ final basket with five seconds left.

at Philadelphia 108, Detroit 103: The 76ers’ Joel Embiid had 25 points and 10 rebounds and got the better of Andre Drummond down the stretch in a matchup of trash-talking big men. Embiid drew the fifth and sixth fouls on Drummond and drew cheers as he waved goodbye to his fouled-out rival.

at Boston 116, Phoenix 111: With Boston in danger of blowing a big fourth-quarter lead, Kyrie Irving stepped up again for the Celtics. Irving made a key three-pointer and a driving basket in the closing two minutes, helping Boston hold off the Suns.

Atlanta 114, at New Jersey 102: Dennis Schroder scored 24 points and reserve Luke Babbitt had 20 for the short-handed Hawks, who got a rare road victory. Atlanta played without starting center Dewayne Dedmon and rookie John Collins due to injuries.


at Milwaukee 109, Sacramento 104: Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points for the Bucks, who built a 20-point lead in the second half before holding on for the win. Antetokounmpo made 17 free throws and had 13 rebounds, and Khris Middleton added 25 points for the Bucks.

New Orleans 123, at Portland 116: DeMarcus Cousins had 38 points for the Pelicans, who ended a three-game skid.