Basketball

LeBron joins exclusive triple-double club

Cleveland star becomes only sixth player in NBA history to reach 70 in his career

LeBron James notched his 70th career triple-double to help the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Chicago Bulls 114-109, as a depleted Golden State Warriors side defeated the Phoenix Suns 124-109 yesterday morning (Singapore time).

James racked up 33 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers held off a second-half rally by hosts Chicago at the United Center.

James, who has 15 triple-doubles this season, became the sixth player in NBA history to reach 70 for his career, joining Oscar Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138), Jason Kidd (107), Russell Westbrook (101) and Wilt Chamberlain (78).

Jeff Green added 21 points and Jordan Clarkson had 19 for Cleveland, which won for the second time in three games.

Ante Zizic added 14 points for the Cavaliers, who shot an efficient 50.6 per cent (44 of 87) from the field.

DENZEL DAZZLES

Denzel Valentine scored a career-high 34 points on a personal-best 8-of-11 shooting from three-point range to lead Chicago.

Bobby Portis had 15 points and 15 rebounds, Cameron Payne scored 13 and Paul Zipser chipped in 11 as the Bulls dropped to 4-4 this month.

Chicago centre Cristiano Felicio finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue was not on the bench to start the second half due to an illness. Larry Drew ran the team in his absence.

Cleveland led 69-52 at half-time before allowing Chicago to creep back in the second half.

After trailing 85-81 entering the fourth quarter, the Bulls had the score knotted up after Valentine's three-pointer with 4:13 remaining tied it at 99.

The Cavs scored six straight points courtesy of James and Green before a pair of threes from Zipser and Payne had the scored locked up again at 105 with 1:41 on the clock.

Clarkson knocked down a three-pointer and was fouled with 1:27 left, and his free-throw completed a pivotal four-point play.

James' pull-up jumper with 39 seconds left stretched the Cavs' lead back up to six.

Two George Hill free-throws made it 113-107 with 25.5 seconds left before Valentine countered with a lay-up with 13.2 left. Hill knocked down one of two free-throws to help Cleveland seal the win.

Cleveland open a three-game homestand tomorrow morning (Singapore time) against Milwaukee. Chicago head to New York on the same day.

Meanwhile, the Golden State's Andre Iguodala had a three-point play and a three-point basket to trigger a 16-2, third-quarter burst that allowed the Warriors to turn a deficit into a lead en route to their 124-109 road victory over the Phoenix Suns. - REUTERS, AFP

OTHER RESULTS: Milwaukee 122 Atlanta 117, New Orleans 101 Houston 107, Washington 109 Indiana 102, Brooklyn 114 Dallas 106, NY Knicks 124 Charlotte 101, Memphis 101 Denver 94, San Antonio 117 Minnesota 101, Utah 103 Sacramento 97, Portland 100 Detroit 87

Basketball