The Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James had 36 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and the Cavs ran past the Boston Celtics 114-91 on Wednesday evening to move back into top place in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The Cavaliers had a pretty identical records entering their 2016-17 final NBA regular-season game, but the franchise (51-27) now has a one-game lead over the Celtics (50-28) with only four contests to play. The Cavs also holds the tiebreaker with the Celtics for the top seed in the East, should it be needed.
Point guard Kyrie Irving contributed a total of 19 points and five assists.
The Cleveland played without starting center Tristan Thompson, who was sidelined due to a sprained right thumb. Fortunately, the Cavaliers made due without Thompson, rushing at the start of the second quarter of the matchup and taking as much as a 29-point lead in the second half. Cavaliers seized on Celtics’ inertia at the start of the second quarter, edging out them 22-4 over the first 6:40 of the quarter. The Calvs also outscored the Celtics to 51-38.
Isaiah Thomas led the Boston with a total of 26 points.
The three-time NBA champion LeBron James’ output has noticeably climbed over the last week as the NBA regular season comes to an end. He entered Wednesday coming off back-to-back triple doubles in Sunday’s double-overtime win against Indiana and a blowout win over Orlando Tuesday, while logging 89 minutes over those two games.
The 13-time All-Star played another 39 minutes before eventually going to the bench with 4:04 time left.
LeBron James was active on both offense and defense during the entire duration of the game, blowing up to the rim for several easy shots. James also did it on the defensive end, notably stuffing Marcus Smart with a both hand block.
Even with Thompson out of the game, this was the healthiest Cavaliers team the Celtics had seen since the organizations’ first meeting in November.
Trade acquisition Kyle Korver recently returned to the floor off a sore left foot and J.R. Smith was back to the action after missing nearly three months following a thumb surgery. Kevin Love, meanwhile, is also back in the court after he underwent a knee surgery.