LeBron James scored 26 points as part of a triple-double and J.R. Smith had 23 points as the reconstituted Cleveland Cavaliers rolled past the Indiana Pacers for a 115-108 victory at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday.
James added 11 assists and 10 rebounds and Smith hit a season-high seven 3-pointers as the Cavaliers beat Indiana for the first time in four meetings this season.
Center Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the season, while replacing Jae Crowder in the starting lineup. Coach Tyronn Lue had promised a shake-up after the Cavs lost 10 of their previous 13 games.
Victor Oladipo had 25 points and Darren Collison had 19 points for the Pacers, who had won seven and 10.
Indiana had won five of seven since overcoming a 22-point first-half deficit in a 97-95 home victory over the Cavs on Jan. 12. The Pacers also had four- and 17-point victories over Cleveland this season.
Kevin Love had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds while shifting to his more natural power forward spot with the insertion of Thompson, a fixture at center in the Cavs’ last three NBA Finals runs.
Thompson missed six weeks after suffering a calf injury in November and had not started in the previous 18 games since returning while averaging 18 minutes a game. He had not started since Nov. 1.
Cleveland shot 56.1 percent from the field and stretched a 13-point lead to 19 when Crowder made one of two free throws for a 97-78 edge in the final minute of the third period.
Thaddeus Young’s 3-pointer with 1:44 remaining brought the Pacers within five points at 111-106, but James made a layup, then a steal, to ice the victory. James was 11-of-17 from the field.
Domantas Sabonis had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds while making his 10th straight start in place of center Myles Turner, out since Jan. 8 with an elbow injury. Sabonis is averaging 10.1 rebounds in Turner’s absence.
Smith had four 3-pointers in the first 9 1/2 minutes to help the Cavaliers to a 38-31 lead after the first quarter. Love and Derrick Rose also had 3-pointers to help the Cavs get off to a quick start.
—Field Level Media