BOSTON (AFP) - LeBron James delivered his best game since returning to Cleveland, and the Cavaliers have a winning record for the first time this season with a come-from-behind 122-121 win over Boston on Friday.
James exploded for 41 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, as Cleveland rallied from a 19-point deficit to move to 4-3 on the season.
"We showed some growth in the fourth quarter," said James of his team, which has won three straight since starting the season 1-3.
James, with 23,360 points, also surpassed former Celtic great Robert Parish for 24th on the all-time NBA scoring list. He came into the game needing 16 points to pass Parish, who finished his all-star career with 23,334.
Friday's performance marked James' 53rd career game of 40 or more points in the regular season and his first since March, when he scored 43 against the Cavaliers as a member of the Miami Heat.
Besides scoring a season high 41 points, James also tallied seven assists and four rebounds in his best performance back in a Cavaliers' jersey after winning two NBA titles with the Miami Heat.
James was making his first start with Cleveland since the 2010 playoffs.
This was Cleveland's fifth road game in their last six contests.
They held the Celtics to 20 points in the final 12 minutes, after allowing 42 points in the third quarter in front of a crowd of 18,624 at the Boston Garden arena.
"We gave up a 40-point quarter and that's unacceptable," James said.
Kyrie Irving tallied 15 of his 27 in the final quarter, and Kevin Love finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds in the win.
Kelly Olynyk scored a season-high 21 points while Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger scored 19 each for the Celtics, who lost their second straight game. Guard Rajon Rondo had 16 assists.