LeBron re­luc­tant to take a break

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By ASSOCIATED PRESS in Cleve­land

The Cava­liers are get­ting some down­time. Not that they re­ally want any right now.

Af­ter some dis­rup­tions and some drama, the NBA cham­pi­ons are rolling once more.

LeBron James scored 31 points, Kyrie Irv­ing added 26, Kyle Korver made six 3-point­ers as the Cavs reached the All-Star break with their sev­enth win in eight games, beat­ing the In­di­ana Pac­ers 113-104 on Wed­nes­day night.

Irv­ing and Korver com­bined to make four 3s in the first 2:50 of the fourth quar­ter as the lat­ter fin­ished with 22 points to be­come the sev­enth player with 2,000 ca­reer 3s.

The Cavs, play­ing their se­cond game with­out All-Star Kevin Love, then pulled away to im­prove to 7-1 in Fe­bru­ary af­ter a 7-8 Jan­uary.

“This is the way we wanted to play com­ing into Fe­bru­ary and the guys are ex­cel­lent so far in this month,” James said.

“It sucks be­cause we have a great rhythm right now and you hate to have the break.

“But the break is go­ing to be good for ev­ery­body. It gives guys an op­por­tu­nity — if they have some nicks and bruises and things of that na­ture.

“Just get away and de­com­press for a lit­tle bit, but we’ve been play­ing some good bas­ket­ball.”

And while his team­mates will re­lax over the next few days, James and Irv­ing are headed to New Or­leans for Sun­day’s All-Star game.

At 39-16, and win­ners of three straight, Cleve­land leads the East­ern Con­fer­ence at the unof­fi­cial half­way point.

The Cavs have en­dured their fair share of in­juries and won’t be at full strength un­til Love and J.R. Smith re­cover from knee and thumb surg­eries re­spec­tively.

That’s weeks away, but coach Ty­ronn Lue is pleased with the way his team has han­dled ad­ver­sity.

“Any time you lose two starters it’s go­ing to make it tough, but we have a no-ex­cuse men­tal­ity and guys are step­ping up,” Lue said.

“We got to con­tinue to keep do­ing that un­til J.R. and Kevin get back.”

Glenn Robin­son III scored 17 for In­di­ana, which lost its fifth straight.

Pac­ers All-Star Paul Ge­orge scored just 13 and missed 12 straight shots af­ter the first quar­ter, a 3-pointer end­ing his drought with 5:15 left.

“I had looks that I’ve had all sea­son,” Ge­orge said. “It was just one of those games I couldn’t buy a bas­ket at all.”

Down by 10 in the third, the Pac­ers tied it at 83-all on a 3-pointer by Robin­son. That’s when Korver, who made 8 of 9 3s in a win over In­di­ana on Feb 8, dropped a trey and Irv­ing hit one on Cleve­land’s next posses­sion.

The pair drained two more to give the Cava­liers a 97-87 lead, and then Korver, fi­nally look­ing at home in Cleve­land’s of­fense af­ter his trade from At­lanta, made an­other 3 and scored on a layup to give the Cavs a 106-89 lead.

A few min­utes later, Korver got free for his first dunk with Cleve­land and it never looked back to close out the win.

TONY DEJAK / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Cleve­land Cava­liers’ Kyle Korver is pres­sured by Monta Elli of the In­di­ana Pac­ers dur­ing their NBA game on Wed­nes­day in Cleve­land. The Cavs pre­vailed 113-104 for their sev­enth win in eight games.

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