Basketball

LeBron James claps back after Cavaliers staff applauds miss shot

LeBron James scored a season-high 46 points, including 22 in the fourth quarter, to lift the visiting Los Angeles Lakers to a 115-108 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers yesterday morning (Singapore time).

James scored 13 points in the final 4:41 against his former team to help the Lakers pull away and improve to 10-0 on the road this season.

The scoring heroics came after he noticed that Jason Hillman, the Cavaliers' basketball chief of staff, clapped and celebrated him missing a turnaround shot at the buzzer with Cleveland leading 89-87 going into the fourth quarter, according to ESPN.

Said James: "I felt like he was just a little bit too excited about seeing me miss...

"A little bit more extra than I would have liked. But he's got to root for his team, obviously...

"So I knew I had another quarter, and the fourth quarter's my favourite."

The Lakers led 100-98 when James began his late surge with a three-pointer from the edge of the mid-court logo.

He sank another three to make it 108-100 with 3:36 left, and yet another for a six-point edge with 1:34 to go.

His 17-footer with 58.9 seconds remaining stretched the lead to 115-107.

James, who was playing in Cleveland for the second time since leading the Cavaliers to the 2016 NBA title, shot 19 of 26 from the field, including seven of 11 from three-point range, and added eight rebounds and six assists.

Said Lakers coach Frank Vogel: "The shot-making was just ridiculous, just one of those nights for the ages for him."

Anthony Davis had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, and Montrezl Harrell scored 15 off the bench.

Andre Drummond had 25 points and 17 rebounds, Cedi Osman scored 20 points and Collin Sexton finished with 17 for the Cavaliers.

In New York, James Harden said he believes the best is yet to come after producing a late burst of scoring to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 98-85 victory over the Miami Heat.

Harden - who joined the Nets in a blockbuster trade from the Houston Rockets earlier this month - produced a dazzling burst of fourth-quarter scoring.

He netted 16 of his 20 points in the final period to lead the scoring for Brooklyn, alongside Kevin Durant, who also had 20.

Meanwhile, Stephen Curry scored a game-high 36 points as the Golden State Warriors thrashed the Minnesota Timberwolves 130-108 in San Francisco. At the United Center, the Boston Celtics opened a stretch of road games with a 119-103 win over the Chicago Bulls. - AFP, REUTERS

Basketball