BOSTON—LeBron James scored a season-high 41 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Boston Celtics, 122-121, in the NBA on Friday.
James made one of two free throws with 36 seconds left to give Cleveland a one-point lead. Boston then got the ball back with seven seconds to go, but Rajon Rondo lost control of his dribble just before time expired.
Cleveland held Boston to 20 points in the final 12 minutes after allowing 42 in the third.
“We gave up a 40-point quarter and that’s unacceptable if we want to grow,” James said, “but we showed growth in the fourth quarter.”
Irving had 27 points and Kevin Love added 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who earned their third straight win.
In other games, Detroit topped struggling Oklahoma City, 96-89, in overtime, Houston kept Philadelphia winless with an 88-87 victory, and New Orleans shattered several team records in a 139-91 win over Minnesota.
The Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile, lost to San Antonio, 93-80, in one of the worst shooting games of Kobe Bryant’s 19-year NBA career, and the New York Knicks slumped to their seventh straight loss, 102-100, to Utah.
Detroit’s Brandon Jennings scored 25 of his 29 points in the second half and overtime to lead the Pistons past the Thunder.
Jennings made a tiebreaking 3-pointer to give the Pistons an 87-84 lead with 2:32 left in overtime, then another to increase the margin to 92-84.
Houston’s James Harden scored 35 points, including an off-balance layup with nine seconds left, to beat winless Philadelphia.
The Sixers led by one point before Michael Carter-Williams bounced the ball off his foot and out of bounds to give Houston the ball. Harden powered through the lane to hit the game-winner.
The Sixers dropped to 0-9 for their worst start since opening the 1972-73 season with 15 consecutive losses.
In New Orleans, the Pelicans set single-game team records for total points (139), field goals made (56), field-goal percentage (66.7) and margin of victory (48 points). Their 15 3-pointers tied a club high.
San Antonio’s Cory Joseph scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter to help the Spurs put away the Lakers.
Bryant was 1 for 14 from the field, scoring nine points. The NBA’s leading scorer missed his first 10 shots and all five of his 3-point attempts.
The Knicks lost on a buzzer-beating jumper by Utah’s Trey Burke despite getting 46 points from Carmelo Anthony.
Elsewhere, Charlotte beat Phoenix, 103-95, Denver topped Indiana, 108-87, and Orlando defeated Milwaukee, 101-85. AP
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