SAN ANTONIO -- LeBron James wasn't looking forward to a fourth overtime in three games.
So when San Antonio's Manu Ginobili shot the ball for the chance to tie with just seconds remaining, all James could do was hope the Spurs star missed.
Ginobili did, and James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to breathe easy.
"You know it was down to the last shot again for us going into overtime," said James, who scored 27 points in the Cavaliers' 90-88 victory Thursday night. "It was big to see the ball not go in with no time on the clock. Big win."
And while the Cavs were careful to treat the matchup like any other in the regular season, it could not have escaped anyone's attention that the win came against the team that swept them in last season's NBA finals.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 17 points for Cleveland, which earned its third consecutive victory and won its first meeting with San Antonio since the NBA Finals in June.
"The Finals are over and done with," James said. "One thing we did tonight, we got defensive steps and we made plays down the stretch. ... We've just got to continue to play well. We've been playing great basketball lately."
Ginobili scored 31 points for the Spurs, and Tony Parker had 23 points but missed two free throws with 29.4 seconds left that would have tied the game at 90.
"They both felt good. They just didn't go in," Parker said.
Tim Duncan finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio, which has lost four games at home and dropped to 5-5 in its last 10 overall.
SUNS 106, LAKERS 98, at Los Angeles -- Shawn Marion had 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Steve Nash had 13 points and a season-high 20 assists to help Phoenix beat Los Angeles and retake the Western Conference lead.
NUGGETS 120, JAZZ 109, at Denver -- Linas Kleiza scored a career-high 41 points, and Marcus Camby contributed on the defensive end with 24 rebounds and 11 blocks as Denver ended Utah's four-game winning streak.
MORE NBA FOR TURNER -- Turner Broadcasting System is taking over the NBA's TV and Web operations.
Turner Sports president David Levy and NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver will jointly manage the venture, the league announced Thursday.
The deal will run through the 2015-16 season. Turner already airs dozens of NBA games on TNT each season.
More NBA coverage can be found online at www.modbee.com/nba.