LeBron James to the rescue as Cleveland Cavaliers edge Dallas Mavericks

Sport360 staff 10:04 13/01/2016
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Star man: LeBron James.

Lebron James scored 27 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers snatched a thrilling overtime victory from the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

James led the scoring for Cleveland after the Cavaliers had trailed for much of the contest as the Mavericks raced into an early 23-7 lead.

The pivotal moment in a 110-107 win for the Cavaliers — their eighth consecutive victory — came with 13 seconds to go in overtime, when Kyrie Irving nailed a long-range three-pointer to seal the win.

It capped a remarkable transformation in fortunes for the Cavaliers, who struggled to find the basket all night, with Irving and Kevin Love both missing a succession of attempts.

Cleveland’s winning streak might have come to an end had Dallas veteran Dirk Nowitzki not squandered a gilt-edged opportunity in the closing seconds of regulation.

Nowitzki looked certain to score after finding himself isolated with Cleveland guard Iman Shumpert. But Shumpert managed to strip Nowitzki and the chance was gone.

A nerve-jangling final quarter saw the lead change 10 times, while the game was tied three times in the final two minutes.

Cleveland now lead the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 27-9, ahead of the Toronto Raptors (24-15).

In Minneapolis, Kevin Durant underscored his importance to the Oklahoma City Thunder once again with a 30-point haul which helped see off the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Durant reeled off 12 points in the final three minutes to steer the Thunder safely to a 101-96 victory which left them with the third best record (27-12) in the Western Conference behind Golden State and the San Antonio Spurs.

However, Durant was unhappy that he left it late to deliver the goods.

San Antonio meanwhile extended their winning streak to nine games after a scintillating 31-point performance from Tony Parker helped the Spurs to a 109-99 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

LaMarcus Aldridge weighed in with 22 points and 13 rebounds while shooting guard Manu Ginobili finished with 15 points and five rebounds as the Spurs improved to 34-6.

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