James' 37 lead Cavaliers past Thunder 120-112
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives past Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
By Cliff Brunt, Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — LeBron James scored 37 points, and the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers got a much different result this time against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 120-112 victory on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).
It was Cleveland's second straight win since adding George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in trades, and their fourth straight victory overall.
J.R. Smith added 18 points for the Cavaliers, who lost to the Thunder 148-124 on Jan. 20 (Jan. 21, PHL time) with a very different roster.
Paul George scored 25 points and Carmelo Anthony 24 for the Thunder. Steven Adams added 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook scored 21 points. Westbrook and Anthony had missed the past two games with sprained ankles.
James scored 14 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter, including two three-pointers, to give Cleveland a 78-68 lead. He was 6-for-6 from the field during that stretch. The Thunder responded with an 8-0 run to get back into the game. Cleveland took a 91-87 edge into the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers took control in the fourth, and a layup by James after driving on George pushed the Cavaliers ahead 115-106 with 49 seconds to play.
The Thunder trimmed their deficit to five in the final minute and could have come closer, but Alex Abrines missed a three-pointer, and Nance got free for a dunk to seal the win for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers led 62-57 at halftime. James had 16 points, four rebounds and five assists, and Smith had 15 points on five three-pointers. Adams scored 15 points before the break for Oklahoma City.
Cavaliers: A double foul was called on Nance and Oklahoma City's Raymond Felton after they got tangled up in the second quarter. ... Cleveland shot 54 percent in the first half and 51 percent overall. ... Committed just seven turnovers.
Thunder: Westbrook was issued a technical foul in the first quarter. It was his 12th of the season. ... Had just two turnovers in the first half. ... Outrebounded the Cavaliers 51-41.
Cavaliers: Host the Washington Wizards on Feb. 22 (Feb. 23, PHL time).
Thunder: Visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).