The depleted Cleveland Cavaliers, riding LeBron James' near triple-double with contributions throughout the lineup, willed their way to a gritty 104-100 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday evening at The Q. James poured in 33 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out 11 assists in 40 minutes of play. Kevin Durant, who had 25 points, missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with eight seconds to go. Oklahoma City recovered the ball and called a timeout. Russell Westbrook, who scored 27 points and distributed 10 assists, got the ball out of an out of bounds play and pump-faked at the 3-point line, but James never bought the fake. Westbrook's high arching three clanked off the front rim. James gathered the rebound and was fouled, icing the game and ending the Thunder's six-game winning streak. Tristan Thompson was a monster on the glass off the bench, pulling down a game-high 15 boards to go with 12 points. Richard Jefferson hit timely shots to end the game with 13 out of the second unit while Kevin Love had a rare four-point play in an 11-point night, but added five assists and seven rebounds.
LeBron James wills undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers to 104-100 victory over Oklahoma City
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Dec 18