LeBron James scored 25 points to help the Miami Heat overcome a 27-point third-quarter deficit and extend the team’s winning streak to 24 games with a 98-95 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Heat are within nine games of matching the National Basketball Association win-streak record of 33 held by the 1971- 72 Los Angeles Lakers.
The New York Knicks won to stay one game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic division. The Nets also won last night.
The Heat, trailing 67-40 with seven minutes, 43 seconds left in the third quarter, started a rally to overtake the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
James, who also recorded 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his fourth game back in Cleveland since he left in 2010, hit a 3- pointer with 9:40 left in the game to give the Heat an 80-79 advantage.
Mario Chalmers had 17 points and Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Shane Battier each added 11 points for the Heat, who have the NBA’s best record at 53-14.
Wayne Ellington scored 20 points, Tristan Thompson had 18 and Shaun Livingston contributed 14 for the Cavaliers (22-46). Cleveland was playing without its top three scorers -- All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao.
The Knicks (40-26), led by reserve J.R. Smith’s 22 points, won 106-94 at home against the Orlando Magic. The Nets (40-28) defeated the host Dallas Mavericks 113-96.
Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points in his return from a three-game injury absence, and Kenyon Martin added 11 for the Knicks. Tobias Harris and Andrew Nicholson each contributed 14 points and Beno Udrih added 13 points for the Magic (18-51).
At the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Brook Lopez had 38 points and 11 rebounds and Deron Williams added 31 points for the Nets. Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 points and Chris Kaman added 14 for the Mavericks (32-36).
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