LeBron reluctant to take a break
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.
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.