James hails Cavaliers' character and resilience

LeBron James driving to the basket as he helped the Cleveland Cavaliers claw back a 15-point deficit to beat the LA Clippers 118-113.
LeBron James driving to the basket as he helped the Cleveland Cavaliers claw back a 15-point deficit to beat the LA Clippers 118-113.PHOTO: REUTERS

CLEVELAND (Ohio) • This is not something the Cleveland Cavaliers want to get used to, but they are making the most of their ability to come back in games.

LeBron James scored 19 of his 39 points in the second half and overtime and the Cavaliers clawed back to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 118-113 in the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Friday night.

The Cavs (9-7), who have won four consecutive games, did not lead until overtime and trailed by as many as 15. In a win on Monday in New York, they trailed by as many as 23 points.

"That's how the game is being played for us at this point in the season," said James, who added 14 rebounds and six assists with six turnovers on Friday.

"It's good to know that we're building character and building resiliency, and if you can do that with a new group, then that definitely can help us in the long run."

Kevin Love added 25 points and Dwyane Wade scored 23 points with a season-high 11 rebounds for the Cavs. Kyle Korver scored all nine of his points after half-time.

The Clippers (5-9) have lost seven straight matches. Blake Griffin led them with 23 points but shot eight for 25. DeAndre Jordan added 20 points and 22 rebounds.

Los Angeles have lost two games during this slide by four points or fewer, and of course this one went to overtime. Griffin also missed two shots with less than 27 seconds left in regulation.

"This is about the fourth game to me that we had a chance to win it at the end and we just have not gotten it done," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "It tells you that you're closer than you think you are, no matter what your record is."

Cleveland were coming off a four-game road trip that ended on Wednesday in Charlotte.

"I don't know if it was the trip or not, but it's like we were in quicksand," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "We weren't fast. We weren't getting to the guys, getting to the ball.

"I thought the second half was a lot better. We were flying around a little bit, made the multiple effort on the second side and it made our defence a lot better in that second half."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 19, 2017, with the headline 'James hails Cavaliers' character and resilience'. Print Edition | Subscribe