TORONTO — Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored a season-best 34 points in the team’s 116-112 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night to end their three-game losing streak.
The reigning NBA Finals MVP also contributed eight rebounds and seven assists during the game against the No. 2 ranked team in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland now improves to 14-5 on the season and holds a one-game lead over Toronto (14-7) to stand atop the standings.
“I thought LeBron tonight was a one-man fast break and he was getting downhill. We got the threes if they helped and if not, he getting to the basket and scoring the basketball or getting to the free throw line,” said Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue of the 12-time All-Star following the win.
The 31-year-old James finished at 12-for-26 (46.2 percent) from the field, 8-for-9 (88.9 percent) from the free throw line to go along with his team-high seven assists in the game. The team as a whole made 14 three-pointers on 43.8 percent shooting.
“The game was flowing very well for me, my shot was feeling really well and I was able to attack,” said James, who also logged a game-high 42 minutes.
Teammate Kevin Love made six of the team’s three-pointers and finished with 28 points and 14 rebounds for his team-leading 13th double-double of the season. Point guard Kyrie Irving also chipped in with 24 points and seven assists.
“We just carried on what we did yesterday in practice. We got down to the basics, had a lot of grit from start to finish and it definitely helped us get this win,” James added.
After beginning the season 13-2, Cleveland had lost their last three games to the Bulls, the Clippers and the Bucks.
This was the first instance where the team lost three straight games under Lue, who took over as head coach on Jan. 22, 2016 and guided Cleveland to their first and only NBA title in franchise history.
The defending champions will look to build off their win over Toronto as they visit New York to face the Knicks on Wednesday. PNA/Xinhua-northboundasia.com