CLEVELAND – LeBron James scored 38 points – 25 in the second half – and led the Cleveland Cavaliers back from a 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a wild 94-93 win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.

The Cavaliers, who trailed 11-0 to open the game and 25-6 in the first, were down by 25 points in the third period and still trailed 82-63 with 10:16 remaining before storming back.

With James driving to the hole nearly every time he touched the ball, the Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 34-17 in the fourth and staged one of the biggest comebacks in franchise history.

The team doesn’t have complete play-by-play records, so it’s impossible to know if the Cavs have overcome any greater deficit.

This one has to be up there.

James, who came in shooting just 63 percent on free throws, went 19-of-23 from the foul line but Cleveland’s superstar missed a pair of free throws with 1.2 seconds left. James was short on his first attempt, but intentionally missed the rim on his second try as the final horn sounded.

As streamers and confetti fell from the rafters, and the final score was announced over the p.a., the Celtics argued that James’ miss was a violation and wanted the ball. The officials huddled near halfcourt and gave it to Boston while directing Cleveland’s players to return to the floor.

Boston threw a high inbounds pass to Paul Pierce, who caught it but had his potential game-winning 3-pointer rattle off the rim.

James added eight rebounds and five assists in 44 minutes. Sasha Pavlovic added 14 points and made two crucial 3-pointers during Cleveland’s comeback. Pierce scored all of his 19 points in the second half and Sebastian Telfair, who was briefly hospitalized on Friday with shortness of breath, had 15 for the Celtics.

The Celtics didn’t dress Wally Szczerbiak (back), and Theo Ratliff (back) and Al Jefferson (appendectomy) were both sidelined with injuries but Boston still managed to take a 76-60 lead into the fourth.

Trailing 82-63 after Tony Allen’s three-point play, the Cavaliers began chipping away at Boston’s big lead.

James converted a three-point play, Pavlovic hit a jumper and Damon Jones knocked down a 3 from the left wing to make it 82-71 with 8:36 left. After a Boston turnover, Pavlovic hit another 3-pointer and James fed Anderson Varejao underneath to get Cleveland within 84-78.

Cleveland’s defense forced Boston into a 24-second shot clock violation and Pavlovic’s 3-pointer brought the Cavs to 86-85. Larry Hughes then blocked a shot and scored on a high-arching shot in traffic as the Cavaliers took their first lead at 87-86.

Boston missed its next two shots, and on Cleveland’s next trip, James drove the left side and had his headband ripped off by Kendrick Perkins while hitting a left-handed layup. James completed the three-point play to make it 90-87 and the Cavs survived the crazy final sequence for the win.

Sonics 113, Hawks 112

ATLANTA – Ray Allen made a layup over the outstretched arms of Josh Smith with 1.2 seconds left in overtime to give the Seattle SuperSonics a 113-112 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

Allen finished with a season-high 33 points, 14 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Joe Johnson, who led Atlanta with 28 points, gave the Hawks a 112-111 lead with a runner he banked in from right side with 22 seconds remaining.

Atlanta had won four straight. Josh Childress forced overtime by tipping in Johnson’s missed 3-point attempt with 26 seconds left in regulation. In the final 1.2 seconds of regulation, Luke Ridnour missed from 29 feet for Seattle before Nick Collison blocked Johnson’s 3-point attempt from the left side.

Magic 109, Wolves 98

MINNEAPOLIS – Dwight Howard is all grown up.

Howard went toe-to-toe with his idol Kevin Garnett, scoring 21 points and grabbing 22 rebounds to lead the Orlando Magic to a 109-98 victory over the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

Jameer Nelson added 23 points and Darko Milicic had a season-high 15 points and five rebounds for Orlando, which led by as many as 20 points and cruised after a strong first quarter.

Garnett had 28 points and 11 rebounds, but Minnesota couldn’t keep up with the young, athletic Magic on the defensive end and lost their fourth in a row after a 2-0 start.

Jazz 113, Bucks 111

MILWAUKEE – Michael Redd scored 57 points to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise record, but Matt Harpring made a layup with 1.8 seconds left to give the Utah Jazz beat the Milwaukee Bucks 113-111 Saturday night.

Carlos Boozer scored 32 points and Deron Williams had 27 to help the Jazz move to 6-1 for just the fifth time in franchise history. The Bucks dropped their fourth straight to fall to 2-5, their worst start since 2000-01.

Bulls 89, Pacers 80

CHICAGO – Kirk Hinrich scored 23 points and Luol Deng added 21 as the Chicago Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 89-80 on Saturday night.

Ben Wallace had eight points and 18 rebounds for Chicago, which bounced back from a lopsided defeat at Cleveland on Thursday night.

Spurs 100, Knicks 92

SAN ANTONIO – Tony Parker scored a season-high 33 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs over the New York Knicks 100-92 Saturday night in their second matchup of the week.

Parker was 12-of-17 from the field in nearly 36 minutes. Tim Duncan had 24 points and 16 rebounds, but was just 4-of-12 at the free throw line. The Spurs shot 50 percent from the field and were barely better at the line, going 21-of-38 (55 percent).

Quentin Richardson led the Knicks with 21 points and 11 rebounds in 40 minutes, followed by Jamal Crawford, who added 18 points.

The Knicks shot 45 percent from the field.


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