Los Angeles: LeBron James delivered his third triple-double of the season as the Cleveland Cavaliers are off to one of the best starts in franchise history with a 112-108 win over Philadelphia on Sunday.
James and Kevin Love powered the offence through three quarters before Kyrie Irving took over in the fourth for the defending champion Cavaliers who improved to 13-2 on the season.
Irving scored 20 of his 39 points in the final quarter, Love had 25 points and 11 rebounds and Cleveland rallied from an early 14-point deficit to win at 76ers' Wells Fargo Center.
"When you have great players, it can come from any of us at any given moment," said Irving. "When one of us gets it going, we always continue to go to that person. It can be anybody's night. We're always trusting each other.
"That fourth quarter was just for me to be aggressive."
James added 26 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for another triple-double and Tristan Thompson tallied 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Cavaliers have the top record in the Eastern Conference and are off to their best 15-game start in team history.
"Whoever has the hot hand, we want to continue to get it to him," James said. "Kyrie understands what needs to be done in order for us to win. He showcased that today."
Joel Embiid had 22 points and nine rebounds, and Jahlil Okafor added 14 points and nine rebounds for Philadelphia, who lost to Cleveland for the eighth consecutive time.
Ersan Ilyasova and Gerald Henderson scored 13 points each, Sergio Rodriguez had 12, Nik Stauskas contributed 11 and Dario Saric added 10.
"They can go to another level and they did," 76ers coach Brett Brown said. "We all felt it and saw it. I feel that's the lesson we all learned since we've been together."
Philadelphia closed a five-game homestand at 2-3.
"I think we're getting better," Brown said. "I'm proud of their effort against the NBA champs."
DeMarcus Cousins scored 18 of his 37 points in the third quarter and the Sacramento Kings snapped a seven-game road losing streak to Brooklyn with a 122-105 win.
Cousins got off to a slow start by missing his first three shots and going zero of five in the second quarter when the Kings faced a nine-point deficit.
But the centre helped Sacramento seize command by shooting six of nine in the third.
Rudy Gay added 22 points, eight assists and eight rebounds for the Kings. Darren Collison contributed 18 points for Sacramento.
Sean Kilpatrick led the Nets with 22 points, but Brooklyn was outscored 34-18 in the third quarter and lost its seventh straight contest.
In Phoenix, Wilson Chandler scored 25 points and Jameer Nelson added 21 to help the Denver Nuggets outgun the Phoenix Suns 120-114.
Emmanuel Mudiay had 19 points and Kenneth Faried added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Nuggets.
The backcourt of Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker combined for 65 points for Phoenix.
P.J. Tucker added 21 points and Tyson Chandler had 10 points and 15 rebounds, but the Suns had to play from behind the entire game.
Robinson goes from warming bench to clutch performer
Glenn Robinson usually plays in the shadow of superstar teammate Paul George.
But the 22-year-old has spent too much time this season sitting on the Indiana Pacers' bench to let this opportunity go to waste.
Robinson played in place of injured George for the second-straight game and scored 17 points to lead the Pacers to a 91-70 win over the second place Los Angeles Clippers.
George has been sidelined with a left ankle injury and a sore back.
"We have shown that when we don't have our best player, it is a must for the rest of us to come together," said Pacers Al Jefferson.
That's exactly what happened Sunday night as Myles Turner also scored 17 points and the Pacers' defense shut down the high-flying Clippers. The 70 points was the fewest by the Clippers in coach Doc Rivers' four seasons there.
The previous low was 80, and the previous low this season was 83.
Indiana won its second in a row, also getting 16 points from Jefferson, while Rodney Stuckey had 12 and Thaddeus Young had 11.
"We protected the paint and showed a wall on defense," said Jefferson, who added eight rebounds.
The Clippers lost their second contest in a row on their six-game road trip. They got 16 points from Blake Griffin, 13 from Chris Paul and 12 from Jamal Crawford. The Clippers shot only 31.4 percent overall, including four-of-24 from three-point range.
The Clippers' starting five combined for only 47 points and shot 34.2 percent.
"So far, we would play a good game, and then I would not recognize our team the next night," Indiana coach Nate McMillan said.
"I don't want us to take steps backward after we win a game, and tonight we outhustled them and forced a good team into 20 turnovers."
Published Date: Nov 28, 2016 02:56 pm | Updated Date: Nov 28, 2016 02:57 pm