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James outclasses Wade in Cavs' win
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Lebron James won his personal duel with Dwyane Wade in helping the Cleveland Cavaliers rally for a 107-100 win over the Miami Heat on Monday, the showdown between the NBA's top scorers highlighting an enthralling encounter.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (left) and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade embrace after their NBA game in Miami on Monday. The Cavs won 107-100. [AP]

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (left) and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade embrace after their NBA game in Miami on Monday. The Cavs won 107-100. [AP] 

James lies second behind Wade in the individual scoring standings but was able to outscore his rival by a single point with a 42-point haul.

"We're two of the better competitors in this league, and we always try to put our teams in position to win," James said.

"But there definitely is a rivalry. Being good friends and seeing each other a lot in the summertime, we don't want the other to have bragging rights, so we definitely go at it," said James, who had eight rebounds and four assists.

Wade would have preferred a different outcome.

"I don't like these games if I'm going to keep coming out on the 'L' (losing) side of them," the Heat guard said. "An exciting game for the fans, of course, but I'd love to come out on the other side."

A 12-0 run fueled by Mo Williams' eight points brought the Cavaliers back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit before the visitors took the lead for good on consecutive three-pointers by James, the second with 2:47 to play.

His one-handed dunk over Jermaine O'Neal with 42 seconds to play made sure.

"I was able to turn the corner and split back to my right hand," said James, who found no one in front of him at the basket. "Once I get into the lane, I'm able to finish with force."

The win pushed the Cavaliers (47-12) a game ahead of the idle Boston Celtics for the Eastern Conference lead. Miami (31-28) remains fifth.

Williams had 17 of his 30 points in the final quarter with Zydrunas Ilgauskas also contributing for the winners with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Wade backed up his impressive points tally with nine assists, seven rebounds and seven steals, while team mate O'Neal added 16 points and Mario Chalmers 15.

In Philadelphia, David West scored 30 points with 10 rebounds to lead the New Orleans Hornets to their fifth straight win - 98-91 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.

West was chosen the Western Conference player of the week only hours earlier on the strength of his 28.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in four Hornets' victories. The new week brought more of the same stellar production. West scored the Hornets' first 12 points as they raced to a 13-point lead. New Orleans is on a season-high winning streak.

Led by West, the Hornets won for the seventh time in nine games since the All-Star break.

In Washington, Marvin Williams scored 28 points as Atlanta completed a season sweep of Washington with a 98-89 win on Monday.

Al Horford added 16 points, and Joe Johnson had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who broke open a tie game with a 20-6 run that started late in the third quarter and went well into the fourth.

Antawn Jamison scored 23 points for the Wizards.

In Oklahoma City, Nenad Krstic scored a season-high 26 points and rookie Russell Westbrook added 17 as part of his first career triple double to lead the undermanned Oklahoma City past Dallas 96-87.

Kevin Durant (sprained ankle) and Jeff Green (back spasms) were both out, but the Thunder got Krstic's biggest scoring outing since December 2006. Westbrook had the franchise's first triple-double since an offseason move from Seattle with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas' charge back from a 23-point deficit, and his 3-pointer from the right wing got the Mavericks back within 88-84 with 4:13 to play.

In Los Angeles, Tony Parker had 26 points and 10 assists as San Antonio pulled away from the Los Angeles Clippers in the third quarter with four 3-pointers from Michael Finley to walk away 106-78 winners.

Tim Duncan, playing his second game after missing the previous three with a sore right knee, had 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists before sitting out the fourth quarter.

Al Thornton and Fred Jones each had 14 points for the Clippers.

(Shanghai Daily March 4, 2009)

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