Basketball

Cavaliers stun Wizards, Pacers pummel Warriors

Saturday, April 07, 2018

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LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Cleveland Cavaliers were already getting into NBA play-off mode even before Coach Tyronn Lue returned to the bench on Thursday night.

LeBron James scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter as Cleveland made sure Lue's return was a successful one with a 119-115 win over Washington Wizards.

James helped the Cavaliers claw their way back from a 17-point deficit and hold onto the number three post-season spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

“I don't have a quit bone in me, so if I'm on the floor I've got to try to make plays happen no matter what the score is,” James said.

Cleveland is 10-1 since March 17 when Lue was forced to leave a game in Chicago with chest pains. Lue says he has changed his diet and is taking sleep medication as he gets set to guide his troops into the first round of the play-offs.

Jeff Green delivered 21 points and Kevin Love had 16 for the Cleveland, who fell behind 104-87 with just over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Markieff Morris scored a basket with 3:16 left to give the Wizards a 110-100 lead. James then went to work, scoring six straight points and dishing to Green for a lay-up. Rodney Hood made two free throws to cap a 10-0 surge as the Wizards failed to put Cleveland away down the stretch.

John Wall finished with 28 points and 14 assists for the Wizards, who have lost seven of their last nine and are jockeying with Milwaukee and Miami for a play-off seed. Wall was playing in his third game since returning from knee surgery.

Elsewhere, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 28 points and Victor Oladipo added 21 as Indiana Pacers pulled away from defending champions Golden State Warriors for a 126-106 lopsided win.

The win gave Indiana their first season sweep of the Warriors since 2011-12 season.

Warriors Coach Steve Kerr pulled five players from the game and sat them on the bench for the final seven minutes with his team down by 21 points. Kevin Durant was included in that group.

“Yeah, I'm mad. I'm embarrassed. I know that this game doesn't mean anything in the seeding, but the play-offs start next week. It was an embarrassing effort, a pathetic effort,” Kerr said.

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