LeBron James returns to lead Cleveland Cavaliers over Indiana Pacers

LeBron James returns to lead Cleveland Cavaliers over Indiana Pacers

Pacers forward Paul George (13) keeps a close watch on Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the first half.

(Tony Dejak / Associated Press)

LeBron James scored 33 points after sitting out a game and Tristan Thompson made two huge plays in the final minute Monday night, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 100-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Cleveland.

James was given Sunday off by Coach Tyronn Lue, who wants to monitor his superstar’s playing time down the stretch, and the Cavaliers were lethargic in a 113-99 loss at Washington.

But with James back on the floor, the Cavaliers played with much more energy and again looked like a team with NBA championship aspirations.

“We showed some mental toughness,” James said. “So many lead changes, so many ties. They grabbed the momentum late in the fourth and we were able to keep our composure, get some stops, make some shots and win the ballgame.”


Beyond that, the Cavaliers also caught a break when an apparent three-point basket by the Pacers’ Paul George in the fourth quarter was nullified following a video review by the officials.

“Huge,” Cavaliers forward Kevin Love said of the ruling, which reduced the Pacers’ lead to one point. “A game-changer right there. That was a huge difference for us.”

Oklahoma City 131, at Sacramento 116: Kevin Durant scored 27 points and Russell Westbrook had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists for the Thunder.

at Milwaukee 128, Houston 121: Giannis Antetokounmpo filled the stat sheet for the Bucks with 18 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists, the second triple-double of his career. Jabari Parker scored a career-high 36 points for the Bucks and Khris Middleton scored 30. Dwight Howard had 30 points and 13 rebounds for Houston, Trevor Ariza 20 points and 11 assists.


at Boston 100, Utah 95: Jae Crowder scored 22 points for the Celtics, who have won 11 consecutive home games. Isaiah Thomas had 18 points and nine assists.

at Washington 116, Philadelphia 108: John Wall scored 16 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, Marcin Gortat had 18 points and a career-high 20 rebounds and the Wizards rallied to defeat the NBA’s worst team.

Memphis 103, at Denver 96: Zach Randolph scored 22 points and made successive baskets during a key fourth-quarter sequence for the Grizzlies.

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