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James powers Cavs

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

With all due respect to the league’s top talent, Cleveland coach Mike Brown considers the MVP race over.

LeBron James had his second consecutive triple-double, with 31 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists, and the Cavaliers beat the Indiana Pacers 106-97 on Wednesday night.

Brown was most impressed that James got the triple-doubles on back-to-back nights on the road. He had 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in Tuesday’s loss at Houston.

“LeBron – what can I say? He’s the MVP. He’s the MVP this year. I don’t care how many games are left or what not,” Brown said. “This guy is terrific. He just does everything out on the floor.”

Danny Granger scored 30 points, Troy Murphy 20 and Jeff Foster had nine points and 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who lost their third straight.

Hornets 104, Mavericks 93: At New Orleans, Chris Paul had 31 points, 11 assist and a career-high nine steals, spoiling Jason Kidd’s debut with Dallas and lifting the Hornets to a victory over the Mavericks.

Kidd finished with eight points and five assists.

Raptors 127, Magic 110: At Toronto, Chris Bosh had 40 points – going 14 for 16 from the field and 11 for 11 from the foul line – and Jose Calderon had 19 points and 13 assists as the Raptors beat Orlando.

76ers 124, Knicks 84: At Philadelphia, Willie Green scored 21 points, Thaddeus Young had 20 and Andre Iguodala added 19 as the 76ers cruised to a victory over New York.

Jamal Crawford scored 14 points and Eddy Curry had 12 for the Knicks.

Nets 110, Bulls 102 (OT): At East Rutherford, N.J., Marcus Williams combined with Richard Jefferson for New Jersey’s first 10 points of overtime, and the Nets beat Chicago.

Williams scored a season-best 25 points and Jefferson finished with 24.

Bucks 103, Pistons 98: At Milwaukee, Michael Redd scored 27 points and Andrew Bogut continued his tear with 14 points and 14 rebounds as the Bucks held on to beat suddenly reeling Detroit to snap a four-game skid.

Kings 119, Hawks 107: At Sacramento, Calif., Ron Artest scored 29 points and Kevin Martin had 26 for the Kings in a win over Atlanta that spoiled the homecoming of ex-teammate Mike Bibby.

Clippers 100, Grizzlies 86: At Los Angeles, Corey Maggette had 30 points and 10 rebounds and the Clippers handed Memphis its 11th straight road loss.

Warriors 119, Celtics 117: At Oakland, Calif., Baron Davis hit a 20-foot jumper with 0.3 seconds to play, and Golden State beat Boston, sending the NBA leaders to their second straight loss since Kevin Garnett’s return.

Around the league

The San Antonio Spurs acquired veteran forward Kurt Thomas from the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for guard Brent Barry, center Francisco Elson and a 2009 first-round draft pick. … Maurice Cheeks and the 76ers agreed to a one-year contract extension, giving him through the 2008-09 season to reach the postseason for the first time as Philadelphia’s coach. … Devin Harris said it could be two more weeks before he makes his debut with the New Jersey Nets because a nagging ankle injury still has him sidelined. … Minneapolis police are investigating a nightclub incident involving the Nets’ Richard Jefferson. Sgt. Jesse Garcia said Jefferson allegedly put his hands on a man’s neck until he lost consciousness after the man asked the uninvited player to leave a private party that he was hosting at the posh Graves 601 hotel before dawn on Jan. 27.

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