LeBron, J.R. Smith lead Cavs past Hornets 118-105

Duo combines for 60, James gets ovation in win

Daryl Ruiter
March 28, 2018 - 9:33 pm
LeBron James

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

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There was no hangover for the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night in Charlotte.

LeBron James finished two assists shy of another triple double but scored 41 points while J.R. Smith added 19 more off the bench to lead the Cavs to a 118-105 win.

James received a rousing ovation and chants of M-V-P from the home crowd as he took a seat with less than two minutes to play after putting on a rousing display of dunks, dishes and daggers from deep.

James tied Michael Jordan, who is now the majority owner of the Hornets franchise, with his 866th consecutive game scoring in double figures and he also passed Kevin Garnett for 17th place on the NBA’s all-time steals list.

Smith made eight of nine shots in 32 minutes to go with five rebounds and three asissts. 

Cleveland used a 33-13 run spanning the second and third quarters to turn a four-point deficit into a 16-point advantage to take command of the game and complete a sweep the season series.

Jeff Green added 18 and Rodney Hood 13 more for the Cavs, who improve to 45-30 on the season and lead Philadelphia and Indiana by one full game for the third seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Kemba Walker, who became the Hornets' all-time leading scorer in frachise history, led Charlotte with 21 while Dwight Howard registered 19 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. 

Charlotte out-shot the Cavs 51 percent to 48, out-rebounded them 40-38 and their bench outscored Cleveland's 42-35 but it wasn't enough as James won for the 30th time in the last 31 games against the Hornets. 

The Cavs, who led 95-78 after three, remain perfect this season – now 36-0 – when in front with just 12 minutes to play.