National Sports Briefs: LeBron goes over 12,000
CLEVELAND ó LeBron James scored 33 and eclipsed 12,000 points for his career, and the Cleveland Cavaliers remained flawless on their floor by winning their 23rd straight home game, 101-83 over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.
James became the fastest player in NBA history to reach the 12,000-point plateau. At 24 years, 35 days, he did it quicker than Los Angeles superstar Kobe Bryant, who was 25 years, 220 days, when he did it.
Daniel Gibson scored 18 and Mo Williams 16 as the Cavaliers broke the club record for consecutive home wins set during the 1988-89 season.
Celtics 100, 76ers 99
PHILADELPHIA ó Ray Allen took a perfect pass from Paul Pierce and buried a baseline 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left to give the Celtics their 12th straight victory.
Andre Iguodala had just hit a fallaway jumper for a 99-97 lead for the Sixers ó who led the entire fourth quarter until the final basket.
Timberwolves 116, Pacers 111
INDIANAPOLIS ó Randy Foye scored 19 points, and Minnesota snapped a three-game skid with a victory over Indiana.
Rockets 107, Bulls 100
HOUSTONó Yao Ming scored 28 points, Luis Scola scored 13 points and matched a career high with 18 rebounds, and the Rockets beat Chicago.
Nets 99, Buck 85
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ ó Vince Carter had 15 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his fifth-career triple double, and the Nets spoiled Richard Jefferson’s homecoming.
Brook Lopez had 22 points and 12 rebounds to complement Carter, who had his third triple-double with the Nets and first since April 4, 2002, against Washington.
Nuggets 104, Spurs 96
DENVER ó With Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all sidelined for San Antonio, the Nuggets nearly frittered away a 17-point lead before beating the Spurs.
– H-O-R-S-E has galloped into the NBA’s All-Star weekend.
The popular shooting contest will be part of TNT’s coverage of All-Star Saturday night, the network announced Tuesday. Three NBA players, who will be revealed later, will take part.
The competition will take place outdoors at the NBA’s All-Star Block Party in Phoenix on Feb. 14. The dunk contest, 3-point shootout and skills challenge are later Saturday night, and the All-Star game is Sunday.
NEWARK, N.J. ó Michael Nylander scored two goals and the Washington Capitals snapped the New Jersey Devils’ season-high eight-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday night.
Defenseman Mike Green scored for the fourth straight game, Alex Ovechkin added two assists and the Capitals converted three of four power plays in winning their third straight game.
Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr also scored and Jose Theodore made 32 saves in handing the Devils their first loss since Jan. 11.
Jamie Langenbrunner and Brian Rolston scored for New Jersey in the matchup of Atlantic and Southeast division leaders.
Canadiens 4, Penguins 2
MONTREAL ó Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre scored second-period goals and Andrei Kostitsyn scored with 4:15 left to seal the Canadiens’ victory.
Islanders 3, Lightning 1
UNIONDALE, N.Y. ó Yann Danis stopped 29 shots and the Islanders earned their season-best fourth straight victory.
Trent Hunter, Mark Streit and Radek Martinek scored in the second period for New York.
Blues 4, Blue Jackets 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio ó Brad Boyes scored twice to help the Blues get the win.
Jay McClement also had two goals and Carlo Colaiacovo added two assists for St. Louis, which beat Columbus for the fifth straight time.
LOS ANGELES ó The Dodgers are still trying to bring back Manny Ramirez. Only the enigmatic slugger doesn’t like their latest deal.
The latest deal ó a one-year, $25 million offer ó was rejected Monday. It would have given Ramirez the second-highest average salary behind New York Yankees third baseman Rodriguez’s $275 million, 10-year contract.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ó Alabama is seeking to expand Bryant-Denny Stadium. Athletic director Mal Moore said Tuesday that he will seek the board of trustees’ approval to add more than 9,000 seats and 36 skyboxes. That would push the capacity up to 101,000. The cost will be $81 million.
COSTAS TO MOVE
NEW YORK ó Bob Costas insists he is free to speak his mind about baseball, even though he’s now an employee of the new MLB Network.
Costas’ agreement does not affect his relationship with NBC, where he has worked since 1980. Although NBC doesn’t televise major league games, it does report on them on its news programs and those of its affiliates.
“No, we don’t have a problem,” NBC spokesman Brian Walker said.