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GAME OF THE DAY

James scores 51 in overtime victory

January 16, 2008|From the Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Now this is the way LeBron James likes to go for half a hundred.

James scored a season-high 51 points, including 25 in the fourth quarter and overtime, to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 132-124 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

It was the fourth time the league's leading scorer has reached 50 points in his career.

"When we win, it means a lot. Every point counted tonight," said James, averaging 29.8 points. "I've lost a couple of games scoring 50 points, and I didn't like it too much. To have that accomplishment, and win the ballgame, means a lot."

Cleveland improved to 2-2 in games James scores 50.

James made 18 of 28 shots and had nine assists and eight rebounds as the Cavaliers handed the Grizzlies their fifth straight loss. James' career high is 56 points against Toronto in March 2005. The 51 points matched the NBA's best scoring performance this season. Denver's Allen Iverson had 51 against the Lakers on Dec. 5.

Rudy Gay scored 30 for the Grizzlies and rookie guard Mike Conley had a career-high 20 points and seven assists.

Around the league

Denver Nuggets forward Nene underwent surgery Monday to remove a testicular tumor, and a biopsy will determine if it was cancerous. Nene had taken an indefinite leave of absence Friday, and there is no timetable for his return. . . . Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal will probably play tonight against the Chicago Bulls after practicing Tuesday as he attempts to come back from a hip injury that has sidelined him for eight games since Dec. 26. The Heat has lost 10 consecutive games and its 8-28 record is the worst in the Eastern Conference.

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