NBA: LeBron James scores 24 points as Cavaliers beat Celtics

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (right) in action against Amir Johnson of the Boston Celtics.
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (right) in action against Amir Johnson of the Boston Celtics.PHOTO: AFP

BOSTON (REUTERS) - The Cleveland Cavaliers, closing in on the return of point guard Kyrie Irving, won their third consecutive National Basketball Association game when they beat the Celtics 89-77 in Boston on Tuesday.

Forward LeBron James capped a 12-0 third-quarter run with a reverse slam dunk as the Cavs took control.

James, who finished with 24 points, had six during that run and also capped a 10-3 fourth-quarter spurt that made things comfortable for Cleveland (16-7).

He shot 10-for-20 from the floor (0-for-3 from three-point range) and committed five turnovers, also grabbing seven rebounds.

The Celtics (14-11) closed a 13-point deficit to seven, but Cleveland forward Kevin Love hit six points and James two in an 8-0 run that sent fans heading for the exits.

Guard Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 17 points, while forward Jae Crowder, who played strong defence on James much of the night, added 14. Guard Isaiah Thomas shot 3-for-15 from the floor en route to 12 points.