CLEVELAND (Sporting Alert) — LeBron James and Kyrie Irving combined for 64 of Cleveland’s total points in the Cavaliers’ 118-111 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.
James scored 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Cavaliers (3-3), with All-star point guard Irving adding 32 points — scoring 27 in the second half — nine assists and five rebounds.
According to NBA stats, James’ numbers for the Cavs in the second half were 22pts, five rebounds and five assists and the four time MVP, who was collecting his first triple double of the season and his 49th in his career, said he felt like he owed this to the home fans, following the miserable opener.
“It worked out,” James said. “It’s good when you put something out there and then it comes true.
“I owed them one, and many more as well. Tonight we took care of business.”
Cavs coach David Blatt said James came into Monday night’s contest determined to take charge of the game and he delivered what he had promised to do.
“He grabbed the game,” Blatt said. “He understood the moment. He seized the day and made it his day.”
Kevin Love was also a good supporter in the win for the Cavs, scoring 12 of his 22 points in the second half and made 6-of-9 from 3-pointers, and pulled down five rebounds.
Anthony Davis paced the Pelicans (3-3) with a double-double of 27 points and 14 rebounds, while grabbing three blocks as well.
Ryan Anderson scored 23 of his 32 tallied points in the first half for New Orleans after going 8 of 13 from the field and 5 of 7 from 3-pointers in the first half alone.
“In order for you to become one of the best you have to play the best and learn from them,” Davis said after his team’s defeat to Cleveland, who is being backed as one of the top two teams in the East.
“I love playing against LeBron and the Cavs. They’re a tough team.”
James, Love and Irving combined to score 61 of the Cavaliers’ 67 second half points.
“They have three players who can score the ball at will,” Davis noted.
“We broke down defensively. They scored 118 points. We can’t allow teams to do that.”
New Orleans’ head coach Monty Williams also felt that his team failed to get going defensively, especially in the second half.
“Our defense got us tonight,” Williams told reporters after his side’s defeat. “We didn’t play much.
“They scored 67 points in the second half, but I thought even in the first half it wasn’t that great.”
The Pelicans will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, while the Cavs are at the Boston Celtics on Friday.
SAN ANTONIO BEAT CLIPPERS
Meanwhile, defending champions San Antonio Spurs rallied late to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 89-85 to snap a two game losing streak as Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker picked up their 500th career win on the night.
Kawhi Leonard tied his career high of 26 points to lead the Spurs, while Duncan added 18 points and 11 rebounds in the victory.
San Antonio close out the game on a 14-3 run on their way to collecting its first road win this season.
“We’ve got to start giving him the ball,” Popovich said. “I don’t think Tim and Manu (Ginobili) are going to play any more than six or seven more years, so somebody else, do something.”
Blake Griffin led the Los Angeles Clippers with 23 points and 10 rebounds, with J.J. Redick adding 13 points, while Chris Paul finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
“We definitely let that win slip away,” a disappointed Griffin, who turned the ball over twice a key moments said. “I had two bad turnovers at a critical time.
“With all that, we still had a chance to tie it up and force overtime. It’s a lesson; we’ve got to keep fighting.”
ROSE RETURNS FOR BULLS
Derrick Rose returned to the Chicago lineup and had 24 points and seven assists as the Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 102-91.
Rose made a return to the Bulls’ team after missing four games because of a sprained ankle injury he suffered against Cleveland on Oct. 31 and his teammates were delighted to have the 2011 MVP back on the court.
“It was great to have him on the floor,” said forward Pau Gasol, who scored 17 points, 15 rebonds, four blocks and four assists in the Chicago (6-2) win. “He’s a difference maker.
“He’s very explosive and gets to the hole, a key player for us.”
Joakim Noah also grabbed a double-double for the Bulls with 13 points and 14 boards.
Josh Smith paced Detroit (2-5) with 19 points and 11 rebounds, Greg Monroe added 16 points and 10 boards, and D.J. Augustin finished with 16 points in the defeat.
NBA SCORES AND RESULTS ON NOV. 10
Chicago Bulls 102 (6-2) – Detroit Pistons 91 (2-5)
Cleveland Cavaliers 118 (3-3) – New Orleans Pelicans 111 (3-3)
Atlanta Hawks 91 (3-3) – New York Knicks 85 (2-6)
San Antonio Spurs 89 (3-3) – Los Angeles Clippers 85 (4-3)
Indiana Pacers 97 (2-6) – Utah Jazz 86 (3-5)