LeBron James scored a season-high 44 points to help the Cleveland Cavaliers see off the improving Oklahoma City Thunder 102-89 on Sunday. A 14-0 fourth-quarter run, fuelled by James and a half-court shot from Mo Williams, finally broke the Cavaliers free of the Thunder, who had led by eight points in the first half. "That was a big momentum- changer," the Thunder's Jeff Green said of the 45-foot shot that put the Cavaliers up 94-87.
"It was a lucky shot, but those things happen. There's nothing you can do about it." Williams scored eight points, including back-to-back three pointers, and James had six points in the spree as the Cavs held the Thunder pointless for more than six minutes. "Any shot like that hurts," Williams said when asked about the half-court effort. "You're down only four. Then all of a sudden, you're down seven. It takes the life out of you."
James knocked down five three-pointers and had seven rebounds, six assists and four steals as the Central Division-leading Cavaliers, improved to 17-7. "He was in a zone, there was no doubt," the Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "You can't do much about it. He's one of the best players in the world." Shaquille O'Neal was back in Cavs' line-up after being hit in the face in Friday's game against Portland and experiencing blurred vision. He played 18 minutes, had six rebounds, two blocked shots and five points.
Kevin Durant had 29 points and Green 26 for Oklahoma City (12-10), who have shown steady improvements after finishing last season bottom of the North West division. "They're a totally different ball club," Williams said of the Thunder. "Those young guys are growing up." * With agencies