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Cavaliers cruise to ninth successive win
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Cleveland plundered their ninth win in a row as LeBron James scored 31 points to lead Cavaliers to a 114-94 triumph over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.

The Cavaliers have won every game in the run by at least 12 points, becoming the first NBA team to win nine in a row so easily.

Cleveland is now 17-1 since Nov. 3 and has the third best overall winning percentage in the NBA at 18-3.

It was a record-setting night for James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

James made three steals to pass Mark Price (734) for the franchise record, adding five rebounds and four assists.

Ilgauskas had 13 points and six rebounds to move ahead of Brad Daugherty (5,227) as Cleveland's career rebound leader.

Toronto (8-12) lost its fifth straight game and third in a row under interim coach Jay Triano.

In Minneapolis, Utah Jazz mark Sloan's 20-year tenure with a 99-96 win over Timberwolves.

The Jazz celebrated Jerry Sloan's 20th anniversary as head coach by posting a victory, No. 1,009 for Sloan as the Jazz coach.

The Timberwolves led for much of the second half, but trailed with 1.1 seconds remaining after Utah's Mehmet Okur's jump shot.

A bad pass by Rashad McCants on Minnesota's ensuing possession sealed the defeat for Minnesota, who were unable to deliver a victory for new coach Kevin McHale a day after he replaced the sacked Randy Wittman.

Wittman was the fourth NBA head coach to lose his job this season in a league where coaching turnover is the rule.

In his 21st season as Jazz head coach, Sloan is the longest-tenured coach with one team in America's four major pro sports - basketball, football, baseball and ice hockey.

The other 29 NBA franchises have made 222 coaching changes since Sloan got his current job.

(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2008)

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