x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fit-again James back in business for victorious Cavs

LeBron James scores 24 of his game-high 30 points in the second-half as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics.

LeBron James scored 24 of his game-high 30 points in the second-half as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 104-93 on Sunday. In his second game back from an ankle injury, James, who scored no points in the second quarter, also grabbed eight rebounds and seven assists. "I was doing a lot of setting up [teammates] in the first half," James said.

"I got my guys good looks and opportunities at the basket. But I had to be a little more assertive individually in the second half and attack some of the things I saw, but didn't attack, in the first half." Ray Allen scored 20 points while Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett both added 18 for the Celtics (41-24), who lost to Cleveland for the second consecutive time. The NBA-leading Cavs (52-15) routed Boston 108-88 on February 25 in a game that saw their centre, Shaquille O'Neal suffer a thumb injury. O'Neal is still sidelined, but the new boy Antawn Jamison returned after missing a game with a knee injury and scored 15.

Cleveland got a boost from Anderson Varejao, who grabbed 10 rebounds and had 13 of his 17 points in the second quarter. "I wouldn't say he gets under people's skin, but he does play with a lot of energy," Garnett said of Varejao. "He knows his place on their team and he doesn't come out of his role." Leon Powe, the Cavs' former Celtics forward, reflected that Boston are not quite the force they were two years ago. "Looking at the defence from the championship year, when we won it, it doesn't look the same," Powe said.

* With agencies