Cavs thump Thunder for sixth straight win

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Cavs thump Thunder for sixth straight win

The sold-out arena in Cleveland buzzed with 20,000 fans decked out in matching gold T-shirts. There was a national TV audience, two high-profile teams and All-Stars all over the floor.

It felt like the playoffs in January. LeBron James played as if it was June.

James scored 34 points, including the first eight in the fourth quarter, and the Cavaliers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-98 on Sunday for their sixth straight win.

James made a pair of 3-pointers and a nasty fade-away jumper to give the Cavs a 91-80 lead. Later, the four-time MVP fed Kevin Love for a 3-pointer with 3:38 left that put the Thunder away.

The Cavs, who seemed to be unraveling two weeks ago during a six-game losing streak, are now 6-1 since James returned after missing eight games with a strained back and knee.

After going scoreless in the third quarter, James scored 12 in the fourth as the Cavs kept their momentum rolling.

“We’re a confident bunch,’’ James said. “But for us, we’re a humble bunch. It’s one game versus a very experienced team, a very talented team, a very good team that’s been together for a while. It shows that we can match up with some of the high-caliber teams.’’

Love added 19 points and 13 rebounds, Kyrie Irving scored 21 and J.R. Smith had 14 as the Cavs concluded a 4-0 homestand. Reserve Tristan Thompson grabbed 16 rebounds.

Kevin Durant scored 32 with nine assists and Russell Westbrook had 22 points for the Thunder, who went 3-2 on their longest road trip this season. Dion Waiters, acquired from Cleveland in a three-way trade earlier this month, added 14, but the Thunder shot only 39 percent and couldn’t get big shots to go down.

James sat out Cleveland’s previous game at Oklahoma City on Dec. 11 with a sore left knee, and Brooks was hoping he wouldn’t have to see No. 23 again.

“We’re a confident bunch,’’ James said. “But for us, we’re a humble bunch. It’s one game versus a very experienced team, a very talented team, a very good team that’s been together for a while. It shows that we can match up with some of the high-caliber teams.’’

Love added 19 points and 13 rebounds, Kyrie Irving scored 21 and J.R. Smith had 14 as the Cavs concluded a 4-0 homestand. Reserve Tristan Thompson grabbed 16 rebounds.

Kevin Durant scored 32 with nine assists and Russell Westbrook had 22 points for the Thunder.

AP


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