NBA: Cavaliers rally to beat 76ers, improve to 13-2 start

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket against the Philadelphia 76ers' T.J. McConnell.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket against the Philadelphia 76ers' T.J. McConnell.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - LeBron James recorded his third triple-double of the season as the Cleveland Cavaliers are off to one of their best starts in franchise history after a 112-108 win over Philadelphia on Sunday.

James and Kevin Love powered the offence through three quarters before Kyrie Irving took over in the fourth for the defending champion Cavaliers who improved to 13-2 on the season.

Irving scored 20 of his 39 points in the final quarter, Love had 25 points and 11 rebounds and Cleveland rallied from an early 14-point deficit to win at 76ers' Wells Fargo Center.

"When you have great players, it can come from any of us at any given moment," said Irving. "When one of us gets it going, we always continue to go to that person. It can be anybody's night. We're always trusting each other.

"That fourth quarter was just for me to be aggressive."

James added 26 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for another triple-double and Tristan Thompson tallied 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Cavaliers have the top record in the Eastern Conference and are off to their best 15-game start in team history.

"Whoever has the hot hand, we want to continue to get it to him," James said. "Kyrie understands what needs to be done in order for us to win. He showcased that today."

Joel Embiid had 22 points and nine rebounds, and Jahlil Okafor added 14 points and nine rebounds for Philadelphia, who lost to Cleveland for the eighth consecutive time.

Ersan Ilyasova and Gerald Henderson scored 13 points each, Sergio Rodriguez had 12, Nik Stauskas contributed 11 and Dario Saric added 10.

"They can go to another level and they did," 76ers coach Brett Brown said. "We all felt it and saw it. I feel that's the lesson we all learned since we've been together."

Philadelphia closed a five-game homestand at 2-3.

"I think we're getting better," Brown said. "I'm proud of their effort against the NBA champs."