Los Angeles (AFP) - LeBron James scored 34 points as the National Basketball Association (NBA) champions Cleveland Cavaliers brought their miserable March to a close with a 122-105 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Kyrie Irving scored 24 points and Kevin Love added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who still trail the Boston Celtics for first place in the Eastern Conference.
The Cavaliers had lost three straight and five of their prior seven games, posting a 7-10 record in the month of March.
James acknowledged after their loss to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday that the reigning title-holders were "in a bad spot".
But they encountered little resistance from the 76ers, who had just nine players in uniform thanks to a litany of injuries.
The Cavaliers outscored Philadelphia 38-23 in the second quarter and led 70-52 by half-time.
"We needed this game, we needed to get this win," said Irving. "We all understood that and we've got to keep building from here and not look back. Our process was probably started about 5-6 days ago, a week ago, and now the seed's been planted and now it's just going to grow. So I'm excited about out it."
Irving was whistled for a flagrant foul early in the first quarter. After Philadelphia's Justin Anderson had knocked James to the court, Irving shoved Anderson out of bounds. Irving was unrepentant afterward.
"I kind of saw Justin kind of lower his shoulder and knock down Bron," Irving said. His mindset then was 'I've got to do something, I've got to protect my brother,' Irving said.
"A lot of late hits on Bron, a lot of guys trying to get one over on him. It's over for that, it's over for that."
James added nine rebounds and six assists in just 30 minutes on the floor.
Neither Love nor Irving played at all in the fourth quarter of a game in which the Cavaliers led by as many as 32.
Despite the Cavaliers' recent difficulties, James said the spirit on the team never flagged.
"On the court, our chemistry took a hit. Our camaraderie didn't," James said.
"But at the end of the day we have to fix it and we're here to fix it. This is what we have and we know that, so as we continue to get our guys healthy and we continue to get into the flow of things, we'll figure it out."