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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

James powers Cavs to comfortable win

CHICAGO (AP) LeBron James insisted there was nothing unusual about the shot, that he's perfectly comfortable taking it.

Never mind that he unleashed it from nearly halfcourt.

James' jumper — from a spot that requires a heave for many players — was just part of the show on a day when he delivered his fifth career postseason triple-double with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. That led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 121-98 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday and a 3-1 lead in their first-round series.

"I've done some great things in the past, I'll do some great things in the future," he said. "But we're in the present now, and I'm feeling pretty good."

The Cavaliers led by 10 at halftime after scoring 38 in the second quarter and broke it open with a 37-point third, putting them in position to close it out at home on Tuesday.

James was at it again after scoring 40 and 39 the previous two games, connecting whenever he wanted and from wherever he wanted. He was 6-of-9 on 3-pointers, including a jumper from just inside midcourt at the end of the third that made it 99-76.

"I can comfortably shoot that shot," James said. "It was a regular jump shot for me. Comfortably, I can walk and dribble into a halfcourt 3."

James certainly made it look easy against the Bulls.

"He was extremely active all over the place," coach Mike Brown said. "He really set the tone defensively. He was terrific for us on the weakside. He was great for us on the ball, and he talked defense the whole game."

He had plenty of help from Antawn Jamison, who scored 12 of his 24 in the third quarter, not to mention Mo Williams (19 points).

Heat 101, Celtics 92

In Miami, Dwyane Wade set franchise playoff records with 46 points, 30 in the second half, and the Heat staved off elimination by beating Boston in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Spurs 92, Mavericks 89

In San Antonio, George Hill scored 29 points, helping the Spurs overcome a miserable night from Tim Duncan and take a 3-1 lead over Dallas in its first-round series.

The Spurs have won three straight since coach Gregg Popovich criticized some of his players and they've put the No. 2 seed Mavs on the edge of their third first-round exit in four years.

Jazz 117, Nuggets 106

In Salt Lake City, Carlos Boozer had 31 points and 13 rebounds, Deron Williams added 24 points and 13 assists, and Utah held off a late charge to beat the Nuggets a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference playoff series.

Carmelo Anthony finished with 39 points and led the Nuggets back within range late in the fourth quarter, but Denver never caught all the way up and lost for the third straight time in the series.

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