The Cavaliers jumped to a 21-0 lead but the Hornets regrouped and got to within two points early in the third quarter before the Cavaliers pulled away. Charlotte trailed, 59-57, but Cleveland regained control and pushed the lead back to double figures.
The Cavaliers ended the third quarter on a 21-9 run. James scored seven points and Tristan Thompson scored seven, including two dunks.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 24 points and Al Jefferson scored 14.
In information provided by the Cavaliers from Elias Sports Bureau, the 21-0 lead to start a game is the largest to start a game since Portland scored the first 22 points against Boston in 2004.
Boston 105, at Philadelphia 87: Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high 30 points to help the Celtics end a skid at three games. Rookie Nerlens Noel had a career-high 19 points for the 76ers, who dropped to 0-13 at home this season. Philadelphia moved closer to the NBA mark for worst home start to a season, set in the 1993-94 season when the Dallas Mavericks began 0-19.
at Atlanta 93, Chicago 86: Al Horford scored 21 points, including a key jump shot with just under a minute remaining, and the Hawks won for the 10th time in 11 games. Jimmy Butler scored 22 points for the Bulls, whose winning streak ended at three games.
at Toronto 95, Orlando 82: Lou Williams scored 18 points, Kyle Lowry had 17 and the Raptors beat the Magic for the 10th consecutive time. The Raptors improved to 11-1 this season against opponents with losing records. The Magic has not won in Toronto since March 26, 2012.
Milwaukee 96, at Phoenix 94: Khris Middleton made a three-point basket off the backboard at the buzzer to lift the Bucks, who trailed, 94-93, after Markieff Morris made a 14-foot jump shot for the Suns with 3.9 seconds left. Morris finished with 25 points. Brandon Knight led the Bucks with 20 points.
at Portland 108, San Antonio 95: Damian Lillard had 23 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have won seven of their last nine games. The Spurs had only 10 players available.