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NBA -- LeBron's 42 powers Cavs past Warriors


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- In what was potentially an NBA Finals showdown, the Cleveland Cavaliers handled the explosive Golden State Warriors, 110-99, on Thursday night at the Quicken Loans Arena.

LeBron James notched a season-high 42 points. Kyrie Irving added 24 while Kevin Love swished 3-of-5 triples for 16 points and eight rebounds. Timofey Mozgov pitched in 10 points and 10 boards while helping Cleveland's defense hold the Warriors to just 39-of-92 from the field (42.4 percent).

"When I'm on the floor, I'll try to do everything I can to help this team win," James told ESPN. The 30-year old four-time MVP also had 11 rebounds and five assists. He made 15-of-25 field goals, 4-of-9 threes and 8-of-11 free throws in 36 minutes of play.

The Warriors flexed their offensive firepower early and surged ahead 33-32 after one quarter of action. But after pulling ahead at halftime, 51-46, the Cavs took control and never looked following a 12-0 spurt to open the third quarter.

Despite the loss in a nationally-televised playoffs-type showdown, the Warriors still kept the best record in the NBA with a 44-11 slate.

"We're not going to win every game," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. "This is the NBA. I don't look at this like a plague or anything. It's just part of the grind of the season."

Golden State's Steph Curry, a strong MVP candidate this season, was held to 18 points and four turnovers and shot only 5-of-17 from the field. Curry's backcourt partner, Klay Thompson, was equally cold and missed eight of 13 shots for 13 points.

"I hope it's (MVP award) not handed out on this game. I hope it's about the body of work. Tonight just wasn't my best game. Shots that I normally make didn't fall tonight," Curry told ESPN.

With the Splash Brothers contained, David Lee led Golden State with 19 points. Draymond Green had 16 and eight rebounds and Harrison Barnes added 11. But it wasn't enough to stave off Cleveland, which made 36 of 77 shots, including nine of 28 3-pointers.

Winners of 18 of their 20 starts, the Cavaliers improved to 37-22 and have surged ahead of the 36-22 Chicago Bulls for the Central Division lead.

Cleveland, however, still trails the 37-20 Toronto Raptors for second place in the Eastern Conference. The Atlanta Hawks dominate the East with a 45-12, nine game ahead of the Cavaliers. (Homer D. Sayson)

Photo: LeBron James slams 2 of his 4 as to help the Cavs win their 18th game in 20 starts.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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