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LeBron James scores 44, reaches assist mark as Cavaliers down Hornets


Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, left, passes around Miami Heat’s Rodney McGruder in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 114-84. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


CLEVELAND (AP) LeBron James scored 17 of his season-high 44 points in the fourth quarter and reached another career milestone as the Cleveland Cavaliers won their fourth straight, 116-105 over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night.

James did it all, adding 10 assists and nine rebounds in 43 minutes. He took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 straight during one stretch to help the Cavs hold on.

As the final seconds ticked off, James stood at midcourt and spun the ball on his index finger as the crowd roared.

James, who moved into ninth place on the career scoring list Friday, recorded his 7,000th assist in the first half, becoming the first frontcourt player in NBA history to reach the plateau. James is the only player with 27,000 points and 7,000 assists.