LEBRON JAMES and the Cleveland Cavaliers turned a close game into a clinic after Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, grabbed courtside seats to watch them, beating the host Brooklyn Nets, 110-88, last night.
Kevin Love was shooting free throws when the royal couple emerged from a tunnel with 7:14 remaining in the third quarter. Perhaps distracted by the loud roar, Love missed the second, leaving the game tied at 61.
But James, putting on a show that few others could, threw some sharp passes to go with his nine points in the period and the Cavs cruised from there to their seventh straight victory.
He finished with 18 points after joining Kyrie Irving and some Nets players in wearing "I Can't Breathe" shirts during warmups.
That would've been the story most nights, but he had to share it with the royals' arrival during their first visit to New York.
James' biggest statement before then came during the pregame layup line. He and Irving, along with Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams and two other Nets, wore warmup shirts in support of the family of Eric Garner, who died July 17 after a police officer placed him in a chokehold when he was being arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. A recording of Garner's arrest showed him gasping, "I can't breathe" during the fatal encounter, and thousands have protested a grand jury decision not to indict the officer since the announcement on Wednesday.
"Obviously as a society we have to do better, we have to have empathy better for one another no matter what race you are, but it's more a shout-out to the family more than anything," James said before the game.
Williams had 13 points and 11 assists but shot 3-for-14 for the Nets, who played without injured starters Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson.
In other games
* At Indianapolis, Al Horford scored 25 points, and Jeff Teague added 21 as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers, 108-92.
Kyle Korver added 13 points for Atlanta.
* At Minneapolis, Stephen Curry overcame a rare off night from long range to post 21 points and seven assists and help the Golden State Warriors to their 13th consecutive win with a 102-86 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Curry missed six of his seven three-point attempts, but the top-ranked Warriors' defense forced the Timberwolves to shoot 36 percent and turn the ball over 19 times to improve to an NBA-best 18-2.
* At Washington, John Wall scored 26 points, including the Wizards's last 10, as Washington rallied for a 133-132 win over the Boston Celtics in double-overtime.
Wall added a career-high 17 assists, Paul Pierce scored a season-high 28 points and Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Washington.
* At Toronto, Kyle Lowry had 13 points and 13 assists, Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points and 12 rebounds, and the Raptors rallied to beat the Denver Nuggets, 112-107, in overtime.
* The Indiana Pacers say backup center Ian Mahinmi will be out 6 to 8 weeks with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
Mahinmi sustained the injury in the first half of Friday's overtime loss to Sacramento.
The injury leaves Roy Hibbert and 6-11 rookie Shayne Whittington as the Pacers' only healthy centers.