LeBron James nets 48 on birthday as Cavs down Hawks

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - LeBron James would not let the Atlanta Hawks spoil his 25th birthday, scoring a season-best 48 points to rally the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 106-101 victory on Wednesday.

Anderson Varejao gift-wrapped the win on a tie-breaking three-pointer with 17.2 seconds to play. Varejao's first career three-pointer gave Cleveland the lead for good at 104-101 after they had trailed by as many as 17 early in the third quarter.

It also helped complete back-to-back wins over the Hawks for the Cavaliers, who won 95-84 in Atlanta on Tuesday.

The Central Division leaders have now won six in a row and beaten Atlanta eight consecutive times.

James also had 10 rebounds and six assists as Cleveland won an 11th successive game at home.

Joe Johnson had 35 for Atlanta and Mike Bibby added 20.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)