EditorsNote: rewords headline, fifth graf
LeBron James recorded his 13th triple-double of the season with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers withstood a stiff challenge from the visiting Brooklyn Nets and posted a 129-123 victory Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
James shot 13 of 25 and became the 11th player to reach 8,000 career assists. He recorded his 67th career triple-double while helping Cleveland beat the Nets for the 10th straight time at home since April 2, 2013.
Despite James’ latest big performance, the Cavaliers needed others to make big plays on both ends in a game that featured 25 lead changes and was tied nine times.
Rodney Hood converted the go-ahead three-point play, hitting a tough mid-range baseline jumper while being fouled by rookie Jarrett Allen and then sinking the free throw for a 123-121 lead with 40.2 seconds left.
After the Cavs took the lead for good, Cleveland’s George Hill trapped D’Angelo Russell along the sideline. Russell then misfired badly on an off-balance 3-pointer, Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. grabbed the rebound, and James sank two free throws to complete his 21st 30-point game of the season.
Hill added 26 points for Cleveland, which shot 51.5 percent from the floor and scored at least 120 points for the 14th time.
Kyle Korver contributed 18 while Hood and Jordan Clarkson contributed 14 apiece in Cleveland’s sixth win in eight games.
Russell scored 25 points, but it was not enough as the Nets lost for the 12th time in 14 games. Caris LeVert added 18 and DeMarre Carroll contributed 16 for Brooklyn, which shot 53.7 percent from the field.
Before Hood’s go-ahead shot, the Nets came back from a pair of six-point deficits and held a 121-120 lead on Crabbe’s off-balance floater through the lane with 56.2 seconds left
The Nets held a 61-60 lead at halftime on Crabbe’s shot before the buzzer, but Brooklyn trailed 94-91 going into the fourth.
Russell hit consecutive baskets for a 101-99 lead with 8:16 left while James sat, but the Cavs used an 8-0 run and appeared to take control over the next few minutes until the Nets briefly took the lead on six occasions in the final six minutes.
—Field Level Media