INDIANAPOLIS, April 14 – The Cleveland Cavaliers locked up the best record in the National Basketball Association and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs on Monday with a victory over Indiana.
LeBron James scored 37 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 117-109 victory.
"It’s one step, however, it’s a big step," James said. "When you consider all the great teams, all the great players, all the great coaches and all the great systems that are in the NBA, for us to finish with the best record is a tremendous feat. And that is something the franchise should be proud of."
Home-court advantage is especially valuable to the Cavaliers, who own a 39-1 record on their home floor.
A win by the Cavaliers in their season finale on Wednesday would tie them for the NBA record for best home mark, 40-1, set by the Boston Celtics in 1985-86.
But James, who could yet sit out that contest resting up for the playoffs, said that record didn’t matter.
"We’ve got to do what’s best for the ring," he said. "We’ve got home-court advantage already. We’re not fighting for breaking a record anymore. We’re fighting for that ring."
Delonte West scored 20 points, Mo Williams had 18 and Zydrunas Ilgauskas chipped in 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who won their fifth straight game.
Danny Granger scored 38 points, rookie Brandon Rush scored 27 and Troy Murphy had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana, who had already been eliminated from playoff contention.
Even with the postseason out of their grasp, the Pacers had been playing well, winning seven of their previous 10 games.
Cleveland had reason to take them seriously after falling 96-95 to the Pacers on February 10.
But the Cavaliers stayed focused, suffering no let-down a day after their 31-point victory over reigning NBA champions Boston.