News ID: 208897
Published: 0311 GMT January 27, 2018

LeBron’s triple-double leads Cavs to victory over Pacers

LeBron’s triple-double leads Cavs to victory over Pacers
Cavaliers forward LeBron James (C) drives to the basket between Pacers guard Lance Stephenson (L) and forward Bojan Bogdanovic during the second half of an NBA game at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena on January 26, 2018.
KEN BLAZE/USA TODAY SPORTS

LeBron James recorded his 63rd career triple-double – overcoming a career-high 11 turnovers – and J.R. Smith scored 23 points as Cleveland showed some signs of ending its stunning slump with a 115-108 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

James finished with 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as the Cavs, following a minor lineup switch by coach Tyronn Lue, won for just the fourth time in 11 games, The Associated Press reported.

However, James kept Indiana close in the fourth quarter with six turnovers – most of them coming on errant passes.

"It's a four-interception game for a quarterback with a win," James said when asked to assess his uneven performance.

"That's what I think of it. I just made some bad decisions."

With the highest turnover total by an NBA player this season, he joined James Harden and Russell Westbrook as the only players with a quadruple-double in the last 15 years.

It was sometimes ugly, but it was a much-needed win for the Cavs, who beyond losing have been bickering and backbiting each other. Earlier this week, Cleveland's players challenged each other during a heated team meeting.

There are still problems to be worked out on the floor, but at least for one night there was mostly harmony.

Victor Oladipo scored 25, Darren Collison 19 and Domantas Sabonis 17 for the Pacers, who kept attacking and closed within five in the final minute before Cleveland closed it out.

Smith made seven three-pointers and Derrick Rose scored 14 points for the Cavs. Cleveland was without Dwyane Wade, who was excused from the team to attend to a personal matter.

With the Cavs unable to snap out of their prolonged, puzzling slide, Lue returned to a proven starting lineup with Isaiah Thomas joining James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Smith — the latter four starters that led Cleveland to three straight NBA Finals.

Lue moved Jae Crowder out of the starting lineup and replaced him with Thompson, who took over at center and moved Love back to his usual spot at power forward.

The new/old look paid off and Rose came up big, scoring seven straight points in the third when Lue pulled an ineffective Thomas.

Rose recently returned after missing two months with ankle injuries that had him considering whether to continue playing.

"He was really, really good tonight," James said.

"He made his jump shots, got to the rim, made plays. That's the backup point guard that we were thinking we were going to have, and to see him look healthy tonight and play with so much composure, it was great to have him."

 

 

   
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