WASHINGTON (AFP) - Four-time league Most Valuable Player LeBron James poured in 57 points for the second-best scoring performance of his career as the Cleveland Cavaliers busted out of a slump with a 130-122 win over the Washington Wizards.
James also delivered 11 rebounds and seven assists on Friday for the Cavaliers, who shot 56 per cent from the field and improved to 4-5 in this National Basketball Association season.
The 32-year-old American sank 23 of 34 shots - including two three-pointers - and made all nine of his free throw attempts in front of a crowd of 20,100 at the Capital One Arena in the US capital.
James, who is in his 15th NBA season, finished just four points shy of his career-high 61 set in 2014 against the Charlotte Bobcats.
"I don't want to give myself a ceiling. I don't want to cap myself," said James, who recorded his first 50-point game since returning to his hometown Cavaliers. "I want to be as complete a basketball player as I can be.
"Even rounding 33, I feel I am in the best shape of my career. I am out here, I might as well keep getting better."
Derrick Rose added 20 points for the Cavaliers, who lost three games during their four-game losing skid by double digits.
Both teams were struggling heading into Friday's game as the Wizards only added to their woes, having now lost four of their last five.
Bradley Beal scored 36 points for Washington. John Wall had 13 points and 15 assists as the Wizards shot 53.6 per cent from the field.
Elsewhere, Kyrie Irving finished with 25 points as the Boston Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-94 and extend their winning streak to seven games.
Irving scored 15 of his points in the fourth quarter. Forward Al Horford also rose to the challenge and finished with 20 points for Boston.
Paul George led the Thunder with 25 points, while Russell Westbrook had 19 points, six rebounds and 11 assists.
In Atlanta, James Harden had 29 points and 11 assists before sitting out the fourth quarter as the Houston Rockets bombed away early from three-point range to beat the Atlanta Hawks 119-104.
Harden was six of 11 on three-point shots, and the Rockets took 47 of their 89 shots from behind the arc, making 16.
The Rockets had lost seven straight overall to the Hawks and had not won in Atlanta since 2012.
Elsewhere, Kristaps Porzingis had 37 points as the New York Knicks clawed their way back to .500 with a 120-107 win over the Phoenix Suns.