NEW YORK, United States, Mar 25 – LeBron James didn’t sleep well before an early afternoon game in New York, but he was rested enough to knock out Brooklyn and stretch Cleveland’s win streak to five games.
James scored 37 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and passed out a game-high eight assists to lead the Cavaliers over the host Nets 121-114.
“I don’t know how I came away with that energy. I only got about three hours of sleep last night. Playing this early, it threw off my sleep,” James said.
“If I’m going to be active I have to be active. I was able to pick it up and help us keep that win streak going.”
The Nets cut a 10-point Cavs lead in half only to have James sink a stepback 30-foot 3-pointer — his only 3-point hoop of the game — with 39 seconds remaining to put a dagger in Brooklyn’s upset bid.
James credited aggressive defensive work by the Cavaliers in the fourth quarter, when they held the Nets to 25 points.
“You’ve got to have your mind ready defensively and have our stance ready when they get the ball,” James said.
Kevin Love added 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who improved to 44-29 and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of Philadelphia in the fight for third place in the Eastern Conference.
Jordan Clarkson added 18 points for Cleveland while George Hill had 17 and Rodney Hood netted 16 off the bench for Cleveland.
Reserve Joe Harris led Brooklyn with 30 points as the Nets fell to 23-51, 1 1/2 games ahead of last-place Atlanta in the East.