LeBron fails to lead Cavs in scoring for first time in 24 games

CLEVELAND (AP) -- LeBron James wasn't doing all it by himself for a change. He had help -- on the floor, and in the box score.

James failed to lead Cleveland in scoring for the first time in 24 games as Flip Murray had 24 points to pace the Cavaliers to their third straight win, 106-99 over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.

James, looking tired during stretches while favoring a sore knee and ankle, had 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in 44 minutes. He was only 5-for-17 from the field, but his teammates were there for him.

"When he has an off night like that, he has to have confidence that we can pick him up," said Murray, who has given the Cavs a spark since arriving in a Feb. 23 trade with Seattle. "That's what we did."

With his best game since arriving, Murray became the first Cavs player other than James to lead the team in scoring since Jan. 20. And, all five Cleveland starters scored in double figures for just the second time this season.

"Awesome," James said.

Although he finished 13 points below his average, James made three huge plays down the stretch.

With Cleveland clinging to a four-point lead, James got loose in the lane for a dunk -- his first points inside all game -- to make it 97-91. His 17-foot jumper put Cleveland ahead by eight, and with the 24-second shot clock winding down, he drew a double-team and whipped a pass to Anderson Varejao, whose three-point play put the Cavs ahead 104-94.

"Even though LeBron did not have a good offensive night, he did other things well," Toronto's Mike James said. "But his team stepped up. They knocked down shots when he found them open, and that's the thing, make plays."

Eric Snow had 14 points and a season-high 11 assists, Gooden had 16 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas 15 for Cleveland.

James scored 31 points to lead the Raptors, who went just 3-for-10 from the free-throw line in the fourth. Chris Bosh had 28 but missed four straight free throws down the stretch when Toronto was still in it.

"That's the breaks," James said. "That's how the ball bounces sometimes. Tonight was a tough one for us."

Murray had 19 points after three as the Cavs entered the final period leading by 10.

LeBron James went to the bench for a break early in the fourth, but the Raptors quickly scored two straight baskets with him out and reeled off eight straight points to close within 89-87 on Matt Bonner's jumper.

As he checked back in, James said, "I'm going to turn it up," and it wasn't long before he was doing all the little things to make sure the Cavs won the first of back-to-back games against the weak Raptors.

Damon Jones had seven points in 14 minutes for the Cavs. Earlier, Jones acknowledged he had been interviewed by police after an Arizona woman filed a complaint concerning a possible sexual offense.

"I am fully aware of the false accusations that have been made against me," Jones said after arriving in Cleveland's locker room. "When the investigation is over I feel like I will be vindicated of all charges."

Jones came off the bench with 2:21 left in the first quarter and made a 3-pointer the first two times he touched the ball. It was a rare flurry for Jones, who has struggled with his shooting all season.

Game notes
The Cavs had a season-high 30 assists. ... Cleveland coach Mike Brown remains concerned about playing James too much and tiring him out for the playoff push. The 21-year-old came in averaging 42.5 minutes per game, 44.6 in February. "Do I wish I was doing a better job of that? Yes," Brown said. "But he's young. I need him to play. We need him to play." ... In less than three seasons, James (5,690) is already 10th on the Cavs' career scoring list. He's just 39 points behind Terrell Brandon (5,729) in ninth. ... Toronto is one road win from matching its total from last season. ... The Raptors have lost five of six to the Cavs.