for this game

LeBron carries Cavs to win No. 30

Jan 14, 2009 - 5:59 AM By Shawn Pachucki PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- LeBron James posted his second triple-double of the season with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to propel the Cleveland Cavaliers to their 30th win of the season, a 102-87 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

James' last triple-double came earlier this month in a win over the Chicago Bulls on January 2. Tuesday's feat was the 19th career triple-double for the leading MVP candidate.

James shot 9-of-15 on the night and hit 11-of-14 free throws. He put the team on his back after halftime, scoring 21 points in the final two quarters, including 17 in the third when Cleveland took command of the game.

"I wanted to be the aggressor on offense and get to the free-throw line and get myself going," James said. "Once I get going, it's hard for teams to stop us."

James coasted through the first half, scoring nine points on just six shots while creating opportunities for his teammates. In the third, he came out firing all cylinders. He scored 11 of Cleveland's first 13 points after halftime, including a highlight-reel reverse dunk after blowing by Rudy Gay.

"He's done that a couple of times where he's (taken) it upon himself to get us going the right way," Cavs head coach Mike Brown said. "It hasn't been about jacking threes and taking bad shots, it's been by attacking."

The Grizzlies hung around for most of the first half, while both teams sputtered on offense. James' third-quarter outburst helped stretch a four-point halftime edge to a double-digit cushion by the start of the fourth quarter. The Cavs never led by fewer than 10 the rest of the way.

"We didn't want to let a young team hang around and let them feel they have a chance to win the game," James said.

Delonte West sank his first six shots and finished with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range. Mo Williams added 16 and three long balls of his own for the Cavs, who have won three in a row and six straight against Memphis.

Cleveland shot 53 percent (36-of-68) from the field and 12-of-21 shots from the arc.

The Cavs' defensive effort may have been more impressive in this one, as they limited the Grizzlies' top two scorers, Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo, to a combined 16 points on 8-of-27 shooting. The pair averaged nearly 40.0 points on the season.

"Offensively, we know we're a good team," James said. "We're a defensive team and we try to lock teams down."

The Cavs allow a league-low 89.0 points per game, but have lowered that total to less than 82 in their last four contests.

Memphis shot 42 percent (29-of-69) on the night and made only 1-of-8 from the arc.

"They did a nice job on defense of bottling us up, and that was the game," Memphis head coach Marc Iavaroni said.

Kyle Lowry led the way with a career-high 25 points for the Grizzlies, who have dropped four straight and 12 of their last 14. Hakim Warrick added 16 points off the bench.

"We have to battle and find a way to win games," Lowry said. "We need to figure out how to pull out games and not get on these types of slides."

Darius Miles netted 13 points in reserve duty - his first points in more than two seasons. Miles - who has been at the center of an NBA controversy over the last week involving his former team, Portland - scored 11 consecutive points between the third and fourth quarters.

If Miles plays in one more game, his salary will count against the Blazers heading into next season.

"I think the league has seen today that I can play," Miles said.