AP – LeBron James delivered his best game since returning to Cleveland, and the Cavaliers have a winning record for the first time this season after 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 for 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.
Meanwhile Australian Joe Ingles sank two three-pointers for six points as his Utah Jazz defeated the New York Knicks 102-100.
Trey Burke sank a jumper on the buzzer to give the Jazz the win.
The team’s other Aussie, Dante Exum, had two assists and three points in 16 minutes off the bench.
Aron Baynes had four points and seven rebounds in his San Antonio Spurs’ 93-80 victory over Los Angeles.
Tim Duncan had 13 points and 11 rebounds in the defending champions’ third straight win.