LeBron James had 33 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers prevailed in Tyronn Lue’s return as coach with a 119-115 victory over the visiting Washington Wizards on Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jeff Green scored 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting as Cleveland overcame a 17-point, fourth quarter deficit to post its fifth straight win and 10th in the past 11 games. Kevin Love scored 16 points, Kyle Korver added 13, Rodney Hood tallied 11 and Jordan Clarkson had 10 for the Cavaliers.
John Wall had 28 points, 14 assists and three steals and Bradley Beal contributed 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but Washington fell for the seventh time in the past nine games. Otto Porter Jr. recorded 18 points and eight rebounds, Markieff Morris had 15 points, Mike Scott tallied 12 and Marcin Gortat had 10.
Green calmly knocked down two free throws to give Cleveland a 116-115 lead with 21.4 seconds left. James split two free throws with 8.8 seconds to go, leaving the Wizards in position to play for either the tie or the win.
Wall drove into the lane but committed his sixth turnover when his pass was intercepted by Cedi Osman, who was fouled and made two free throws with 2.5 seconds left to seal it.
Lue was back on the sidelines after missing nine games because of health issues that included chest pains and sleep deprivation.
Thursday’s victory puts Cleveland in third place in the Eastern Conference by a half-game over the Philadelphia 76ers. The two teams face one another Friday in Philadelphia.
Washington knocked down 15 of 23 shots in the third quarter while outscoring the Cavaliers 36-23 to turn a five-point halftime deficit into a 90-82 lead.
Wall hit a 3-pointer to cap a 13-4 run and give the Wizards a 67-65 edge with 8:02 remaining in the third. Cleveland recovered to take a 76-71 advantage before Washington went on a 19-4 surge to take a 10-point lead on a dunk by Kelly Oubre Jr. with 1:07 left.
The Wizards increased their lead to 104-87 with 7:35 remaining in the contest after 3-pointers by Tomas Satoransky and Beal.
The Cavaliers ripped off a 23-6 surge, including 10 straight as Hood hit two free throws to tie it at 110 with 1:50 to go.
Love scored all 16 of his points in the first half as Cleveland held a 59-54 lead at the break.
—Field Level Media