EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — LeBron James had 26 points and 14 assists and the Cleveland Cavaliers opened a 20-point first-quarter lead and cruised to a 111-92 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday night.
J.J. Hickson added 20 points and 13 rebounds in his second straight start for the injured Shaquille O'Neal and Antawn Jamison had 19 points as the Cavaliers won their fifth straight game. Mo Williams added 16.
The win completed a two-game sweep of the Knicks and Nets over the past three days, the two teams that have a ton of money to throw at James should he decide to test the free-agent market this summer. James put on a show for both.
Brook Lopez had 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead New Jersey (6-54), which has now lost eight straight to the King, including all four this year.
Rookie Terrence Williams added a career-high 21 points for the Nets, who never got closer than 11 points after being outscored 35-15 in the opening 12 minutes.
James was terrific in the first period, scoring 10 points and picking up eight assists. He also took the time to tease the crowd of 17,502 laying in two dunks on uncontested breakaways, with both plays eliciting "boos" from the fans who wanted monster jams.
James seemed content to distribute the ball and that was never clearer than in an eight-point spurt in which three of his assists led to two dunks by Jamario Moon and another by Jamison.
James' best assist came with 2:10 left in the quarter. Dribbling the ball at the top of the key, he jumped in the air as if he was going to fire a pass to the left corner and then threw the ball between his legs before he came down, finding Anderson Varejao for a layup that had the crowd back in his corner.
The 14 assists were one shy of James' career high.
The six-year veteran also showed he could pick up the tempo. When the Nets made a run in the second quarter, James dribbled the length of the court and threw down a violent dunk that drew gasps.
This was also the second big game for Hickson, who became the starting center when O'Neal had surgery on his injured right thumb. He probably won't be back until late April.
Hickson had 17 points and nine rebounds against New York and he followed with another big game against New Jersey.
Nets G Courtney Lee missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. … James attended the Madison Square Garden concert of good friend, Jay-Z, on Tuesday night. Cleveland guard Daniel Gibson was not with the team. Singer Keyshia Cole, who is engaged to Gibson, gave birth to their son on Tuesday. … Williams' previous career high was 20.