Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

James' triple-double lifts squabbling Cavs over Pacers

They also finished 4-0 against Cleveland to complete their first sweep of the Cavaliers since they took all three games during the 2011-2012 season. A couple veterans, including James Jones, who has been to six consecutive NBA Finals with James, had said some things in a more casual way.

James denied the claim that it was a lack of effort saying that the Cavs were merely "in a bad spot".

"They played at a championship level", coach Brett Brown said. "We've had enough talk over the last couple of weeks".

The Sixers arrived in Cleveland the same day the Cavaliers would lose their third straight game and fifth out of their last seven. Sunday's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, a pair of desperate teams, had it all, including plenty of evidence highlighting how important the game was to both.The Cavaliers need something, anything, positive while trying to put a awful March in the rearview mirror and regain their championship form."We need any one", James said when asked about the importance of the win. We're family. Got each other's back always. The playoffs are where it matters the most and as painful as the Cavs struggles may feel to fans, the depth and the all-stars on the team will help Cleveland make another deep run in the playoffs. "But we bounced back, we played aggressive, we stayed together". "We've got to rely on our defense".

In Oakland, Stephen Curry hit nine 3-pointers and scored 42 points, also dished out eight assists, and Golden State moved closer to locking up the Western Conference's top playoff seed by beating Washington.

James drove the lane in the second quarter and dunked over George and Turner, giving him 11 points and extending his streak of scoring at least 10 to 787 games and tying him with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-longest streak in league history. Orlando now has the fourth-worst record in the National Basketball Association, just ahead of Brooklyn (16-58), the Los Angeles Lakers (21-53) and Phoenix Suns (22-53). Paul had 29 points and 10 assists for the Clippers, who moved within one game of the idle Utah Jazz for fourth place in the Western Conference.

"We needed this win", Irving said. "I was fine and we continued to move on". A shot clock violation on Monta Ellis and a huge steal by George where Myles Turner failed to recognize George on the outlet kept them from expanding the lead, as J.R. Smith drilled a hard three pointer with two seconds remaining to give Cleveland the one point lead.

George scored 43 points, including 19 in the two overtimes and 13 in the second overtime alone.

"We barely got this one", Morris said. They got in each other's way and George drained it. James and Thompson looked at each other then, and after the 3-ball later in the period the situation erupted.

At 35-41, the Pistons are 2 1/2 games behind Miami and IN in the playoff hunt.

"We won't be flawless in one day", Irving said.

"There were moments during the season when there was a lot of doubt", he said. Payton dished out a career-high 15 assists and flirted with a triple-double, getting 12 points and nine rebounds. Minnesota (30-44) is all-but out of playoff contention while the Lakers (21-54) took their 17th loss in 19 games.

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