MILWAUKEE (AP) – LeBron James scored an NBA season-high 52 points, but T.J. Ford tied his career high with 24 and Micahel Redd added 23 to help the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-106 on Saturday night.

The 20-year-old James was 19-for-29 from the floor, including 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range, and 9-for-10 from the line. He fell four points short of his career high of 56 set in a loss at Toronto on March 20.

Kobe Bryant had the previous NBA high this season of 46 points for the Los Angeles Lakers in an overtime game against New Jersey on Nov. 27.

James, who entered the game averaging 29 points, became the first Cavaliers player to have five consecutive games of 30 or more points. Mike Mitchell scored at least 30 points in four straight games from March 1-9, 1981.

Ford’s 24 points came on 9-of-12 shooting, including a career-high 5-of-5 from 3-point range. He also had nine assists.

Andrew Bogut had a career-high 21 points, including seven down the stretch as the Bucks handed Cleveland its seventh consecutive loss in Milwaukee since March 8, 2002. The Bucks have won five of their last six games.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 20 points for Cleveland. Larry Hughes, averaging 17.3, had nine points.

The Bucks outrebounded the Cavaliers 41-28, with Jamaal Magloire grabbing 15.

Cleveland is 1-4 during James’ scoring surge and has lost six of its last eight since a season-high eight-game winning streak.

The Bucks led 86-82 going into the fourth and Mo Williams’ 3-pointer gave them a 91-84 lead early in the fourth. But Milwaukee couldn’t pull away.

James’ layup tied it at 98 with 5:07 to play, but Bogut, the No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft, took over down the stretch.

Bogut dunked over James, who had 10 points in the fourth, and after Ford made a layup, Bogut added another layup and Milwaukee led 104-99 with 2:40 left.

Then Ford came off a screen set by Bogut to hit a jumper and a 106-101 lead with less than a minute left. Bogut scored off a rebound to push the lead to 108-103 with 32.9 seconds left.

James, who also had seven assists and seven rebounds, banked in hit a 3-pointer to trim the lead to two points, but Bobby Simmons made a free throw and Cleveland could get no closer.

Donyell Marshall missed a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left. Simmons grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He made both free throws and Cleveland missed two 3-points attempts in the final 9.3 seconds.

James tripped over Dan Gadzuric late in the third quarter, but finished the quarter. The Cleveland star did not start the fourth and received treatment on his left leg during the break. He returned in the fourth and cut and slashed to the basket without any problem, but only attempted five shots in the fourth.

Notes: In his previous three games, James was a combined 29-for-74. … Bucks F Toni Kukoc, inactive with a neck strain for Wednesday night’s game at Philadelphia, was back. … Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Allen Iverson also have had four consecutive games of 30 or more points this season. … The Bucks are 9-1 against the Eastern Conference.

AP-ES-12-10-05 2334EST


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