NBA: Swop of shoes does the trick for LeBron James, Golden State Warriors trounce hapless Chicago Bulls

To rectify things, he switched out of a yellow pair of his Nike signature shoes and into a black pair.
To rectify things, he switched out of a yellow pair of his Nike signature shoes and into a black pair.PHOTO: AFP

(THE SPORTS XCHANGE) - LeBron James changed shoes at half-time on Friday night (Nov 24).

Then, he turned the game in the Cleveland Cavaliers' favour in the second half.

James notched another triple-double and was all over the court during the Charlotte Hornets' final possession as the Cavs hung on to beat them 100-99.

He finished with 27 points, 16 rebounds and 13 assists for his 57th regular-season triple-double and second this season.

The forward was already in double-digit points, rebounds, and assists before the fourth quarter started, but scored just six points on three-of-eight shooting at half-time.

To rectify things, he switched out of a yellow pair of his Nike signature shoes and into a black pair.

"I just wasn't playing well," James said. "So, I'm a little weird sometimes. I wasn't playing well, up to my standards."

He fixed that, and then some. J.R. Smith, who contributed 16 points for the Cavs, put them ahead for good with a free throw with 48.2 seconds left, making the score 100-99.

The Hornets had the ball with 11.1sec remaining and looked to Kemba Walker, but he couldn't get past James for a lay-up and gave the ball to Jeremy Lamb.

Facing pressure, Lamb heaved a three-pointer that missed. James then blocked Walker's three-point attempt as time expired.

"It's always rewarding (to know they can win with defence), and we had to do that, do that all the way to all the zeroes on the clock," James said.

"We had some great looks, just couldn't string a few together, especially in the fourth quarter but defensively, we were in tune. We had a couple calls that didn't go our way in the fourth quarter, but we just stayed with it and it allowed us to win this game."

The Cavs have won seven straight overall for the longest active streak in the NBA (National Basketball Association), and eighth in a row over Charlotte.

Cleveland entered the game as the worst-rated team on defence in the NBA, but limited the Hornets to a season-low 38.3 per cent (36-of-94) shooting.

"We missed six free throws in the fourth quarter on the road in a one-point game," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. "I think that is a big part of the story, obviously."

The Hornets, who had their three-game winning streak stopped, were 16-of-27 from the foul line.

Victor Oladipo scored 21 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 and Lance Stephenson had 18 as the Indiana Pacers held off a late Toronto Raptors rally and won their fifth consecutive game 107-104 on Friday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Pacers (11-8) outscored the Raptors (11-7) 57-44 during the final two quarters. Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 24 points, and Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet each scored 16 as the Raptors lost their second in a row after a four-game winning streak.

Darren Collison added 17 points and eight assists for Indiana, which was 20-of-27 from the line while Toronto was 15 of 20.

Stephen Curry poured in 26 of his game-high 33 points in a second-quarter flurry, propelling Golden State Warriors to a 143-94 thrashing of the Chicago Bulls.

The Warriors eased to the win, their fifth without a defeat when following a loss this season, despite Kevin Durant sitting out with a sprained ankle and Draymond Green on a scheduled night off.

Green is expected to play, but Durant remains questionable, when the Warriors conclude a rare consecutive-night home sequence on Saturday (Nov 25) against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Jusuf Nurkic totalled 29 points and 15 rebounds, including the tiebreaking three-point play with 27.6 seconds remaining as the Portland Trail Blazers made the plays down the stretch and held on for a 127-125 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

Nurkic recorded his fifth double-double of the season by shooting 12-of-19 from the floor and made the biggest basket of the game for Portland, which shot 50 per cent.

The game was tied at 123 with 38sec on a basket by Spencer Dinwiddie, but Nurkic's hustle under the rim restored the lead for Portland.

He scored off a wild scramble under the basket and converted the subsequent free throw for a 126-123 lead.

The Atlanta Hawks notched their fourth victory of the season with a comeback 116-104 win over the New York Knicks.

Trailing nearly the entire first half, Atlanta (4-15) fought back in the third period and took control in the fourth when Marco Belinelli and Taurean Prince each hit a pair of three-pointers late in the game.

Kristaps Porzingis led all scorers with 28 points while Courtney Lee added a season-high 26 for the Knicks (10-8). Dennis Schroder led Atlanta with 26 points.

Boston erupted for 40 points in the first quarter and 73 in the first half - both season highs - on their way to a 118-103 win that sent the Orlando Magic to its seventh straight loss.

The 118 points also marked a season high for Boston and the Celtics also matched their season best with 17 three-pointers.

The win was also the 14th straight for the Celtics, winners of 17 of their last 18, over the Magic, who have not won at TD Garden since 2010.

Long-range shooting and a sound defensive game helped lift the Miami Heat to a 109-97 road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Miami set a season high with 19 threes, shooting 49 per cent (19-for-39) from three-point range, led by former Timberwolf Wayne Ellington (six-of-nine) and Goran Dragic (five-of-eight).

Ellington's 21 points off the bench led the Heat followed by Dragic's 20. Dion Waiters added 17 while Hassan Whiteside, who sat out Miami's 125-122 overtime loss to Minnesota on Oct 30, posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins each scored 18 points to lead the Timberwolves with Jamal Crawford and Shabazz Muhammad adding 10 each off the bench.

The Detroit Pistons turned around its momentum and the Oklahoma City Thunder once again found itself slipping after seemingly gaining some traction in a 98-99 loss.

The Pistons trailed for much of the game but Avery Bradley's three-pointer with 2min 1sec remaining helped Detroit pull off a win at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Ish Smith added 15 points off the bench.

Russell Westbrook had 27 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who were coming off a win over the Warriors on Wednesday (Nov 22).

Nikola Jokic had 14 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter as the Denver Nuggets survived a Memphis rally to beat the Grizzlies 104-92. Jokic added 13 rebounds and eight assists to just miss out on his first triple-double of the season.

Gary Harris and Jamal Murray scored 15 apiece and Kenneth Faried had 14 points and nine rebounds to help Denver improve to 8-2 at home this season.

The Nuggets were playing their first home game since Paul Millsap went down with a left wrist injury in Sunday's (Nov 19) loss at the Los Angeles Lakers.

Denver is planning to be without its second-leading scorer for a few months, with surgery likely needed to repair ligament damage in the joint.

Anthony Davis had 23 points and nine rebounds and DeMarcus Cousin added 19 points and 10 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans used a 72-point first half to run away from the Phoenix Suns in a 115-91 victory.

Davis and Cousins were a combined 15-for-24 from the floor with 19 rebounds and eight assists. Jrue Holiday added 18 points for New Orleans, who have won three in a row to match their longest winning streak of the season.

The Pelicans are 11-8 this season, their best 19-game start since going 13-6 to open the 2010-11 season and they have beaten Phoenix four straight times.