NBA roundup: Cavs edge Detroit
CLEVELAND ó LeBron James made two crucial three-point plays down the stretch and finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds as Cleveland picked up its 13th straight win with a 79-73 victory over Detroit.
Mavs 108, Timberwolves 88
MINNEAPOLIS ó Josh Howard (ankle) had 14 points and six rebounds in his return from an 11-game absence.
76ers 98, Hawks 85
PHILADELPHIA ó Andre Iguodala had 19 points, and the 76ers overcame a season-high 33 points from Josh Smith.
Pacers 107, Bulls 105
INDIANAPOLIS ó T.J. Ford hit the go-ahead jumper with 3.9 seconds left.
Nuggets 111, Knicks 104
DENVER ó The Nuggets, led by Carmelo Anthony’s 29 points, clinched a playoff spot.
CHARLOTTE ó The Bobcats signed guard Dontell Jefferson for the rest of the season. The move came at the end of Jefferson’s second 10-day contract. He has yet to play in a game for Charlotte.
The 6-foot-5 Jefferson averaged 18.6 points and 5.5 assists with Utah in the NBA Development League.
WALTHAM, Mass. ó Kevin Garnett will miss at least the next four games with a sore right knee and may return for the final three games of Boston’s regular season.
OKLAHOMA CITY ó Former first-round draft pick Shaun Livingston will get another chance to make a comeback from his gruesome knee injury two years ago.
Livingston signed a multiyear contract with the Thunder after spending three weeks with their NBA Development League team in Tulsa.
Livingston has had an extended recovery since tearing three ligaments in his left knee and dislocating his kneecap after a layup attempt in February 2007 with the Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged 9.5 points and six assists in 11 games with Tulsa.
“I still feel like I have the same game and the same skills,” Livingston said during his stint in Tulsa. “I feel like the skill set is there. It’s just the physical ability. Any time you pair athletic ability with a skill set, that’s where you get the combination of a good player or a great player.
“Being able to jump and run fast, that ó in this sport ó an advantage. That’s what I’m trying to get back to.”
Livingston, who signed with Duke, came straight out of high school to be the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 draft.
CLEVELAND ó The ball Zydrunas Ilgauskas used to score his 10,000th point turned up in the hands of a youngster who left with it after it was thrown into the seats.
The 8-year-old boy’s mother contacted the Cavs to say her son wanted to return the ball. Ilgauskas told the youngster to keep it as a souvenir.
CHARLOTTE ó As Andrew Bynum expressed confidence this week that he’ll return from a torn knee ligament before the end of the season, coach Phil Jackson defended his big man over pictures that have peppered the Internet showing Bynum at the Playboy Mansion posing with a woman on his shoulders.
“I think there’s a lot being made out of that that is unnecessary,” Jackson said.