Cavaliers hold off Celtics 124-118; Irving, James, Love starred

CLEVELAND, Sporting Alert – Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Love combined to score 85 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers hold on for a 124-118 win over the Boston Celtic on Thursday night.

The Cavs led by as many as 20 points but almost blew the big margin as Boston came back to pull within one point three times in the final two minutes before falling short.

Irving, Love and James all collected double-doubles in the win for the home side, which led 97-77 late in the third quarter and was up by 17 in the fourth.

Irving had 32 points and 12 assists, Love added 30 points and 15 rebounds and James finished with 23 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and blocked three shots for the Cavaliers (24-7), who improved to 17-2 at Quicken Loans Arena this season.

Tristan Thompson chipped in with 11 points and nine rebounds and Richard Jefferson scored 11 points off the bench for Cleveland, which won six of the last seven games.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics (19-14) with 31 points and nine assists, Avery Bradley scored 23 points and Jae Crowder ended with 13 in the defeat for Boston.

Irving finished the contest on the bench, as after making two key layups in the fourth quarter, he left the game with tightness in his hamstring.

The star point guard wanted to return in close out the game but Cav coach Tyronn Lue decided against the move and sent him back for treatment.

Meanwhile, despite nearly grabbing a triple-double, LeBron James unhappy with his overall performance.

“I was horrible,” said James, who accepted several Happy Birthday wishes form the fans as he left the court.

“I was pretty bad and it’s unacceptable and I can’t do that if I want to help our team get to where I want to get to,” James said.

“As a report card, I give myself an `F’ for tonight’s performance. I’ve got to be better.”

Cleveland returns to action on Saturday at Charlotte.

Boston makes a quick turnaround to host the Miami Heat on Friday night.

For more NBA news, interviews and videos visit the official team websites for the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers

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