NBA Wrap: LeBron triple-double rips the Nets

LeBron James scored 31 points and finished a month averaging a triple-double for the first time in his career, as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Brooklyn Nets 129-123 on Tuesday night.

James had 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his 12th triple-double of the season and 67th of his career. He also reached 8,000 assists and became the first player in NBA history to reach that milestone, along with 30,000 points and 8,000 rebounds.

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 hit a jumper from the wing and made the foul shot that gave Cleveland a two-point lead. D’Angelo Russell attempted to draw a foul but barely got off a wild shot from the corner, which led to James’ foul shots.

Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 27 points, the last of those coming on a jumper that gave Miami its only lead of the fourth quarter with 5.9 seconds left as the Heat rallied to beat the 76ers 102-101.

Wade had 15 of his points in the fourth quarter, and the Heat won a game where they never led by more than three.

Goran Dragic scored 21 for the Heat, who got 16 points from Tyler Johnson and 15 points and 11 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside.

Joel Embiid scored 23 points for Philadelphia, which got 21 from Dario Saric. The 76ers led by as many as 10 in the fourth and had a chance to win at the buzzer, but JJ Redick’s wide-open 3-point try bounced off the rim.

Redick finished with 15 for the 76ers.

Kemba Walker scored 31 points and Dwight Howard added 24 after returning from a first-quarter back injury as the Hornets knocked off the Bulls 118-103 to win their season-best fifth game in a row.

Zach LaVine led seven Bulls players in double-digits with 21 points as Chicago (20-41) dropped its fifth consecutive game.

The Hornets improved to 28-33 as their suddenly hot shooting helped them continue their push to make the playoffs. In all, Charlotte sank 53.7 percent of its field-goal attempts, and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.

Walker hit 11-of-19 attempts – including 6-of-10 of 3-pointers – while Howard missed only two shots in 12 attempts. Nicolas Batum also added 10 points, 12 assist and seven rebounds.

Bradley Beal scored 21 points, hitting a clutch 3-pointer and a free throw down the stretch, to help the Wizards hang on for a 107-104 victory over the Bucks.

Otto Porter Jr. added 17 points and Markieff Morris 14 for Washington which stayed hot after snapping the Philadelphia 76ers’ seven-game winning streak Sunday with a 109-94 victory.

The Bucks lost a chance at clinching the season series with the Wizards who hold the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington improved to 2 1/2 games ahead of the sixth-place Bucks.

The road team won both games of the series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Jabbari Parker had a season-high 19 points for Milwaukee.

All the scores from Tuesday’s NBA action:

Cleveland Cavaliers 129-123 Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets 118-103 Chicago Bulls
Miami Heat 102-101 Philadelphia 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks 104-107 Washington Wizards
Portland Trail Blazers 116-99 Sacramento Kings
Denver Nuggets 120-122 Los Angeles Clippers

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