Their season hit yet another snag Monday, when the Cavaliers announced Coach Tyronn Lue would be leaving the team for an undetermined period of time to address the health issues that have plagued him virtually the entire season. They rode yet another triple-double by the redoubtable James (40 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) to a 124-117 victory over the Bucks.
Just as All-Star forward Kevin Love returned from a broken hand Monday, the Cavaliers will have to go an undetermined length of time without Lue.
As is nearly always the case with the pride of Akron, four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and face of the franchise, James said the right things upon learning of the latest challenge to face the Cavs in a season that's been full of them. He said his goal is to return in a week.
LeBron James unleashed his 16th triple-double of the season Monday as the Cleveland Cavaliers welcomed Kevin Love back from injury with a 124-117 National Basketball Association win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
"I mean he's the captain of the ship, so absolutely", James said, per Cleveland.com. "I thought he gave us a tremendous lift, not only the fact that he made some shots, but I thought he was pretty active defensively". Monday's performance was James' second straight triple-double, and his third in four games, pushing his season total to 16. He led all scorers in the contest with 40 points, dished out 10 assists, and brought down 12 rebounds for the night. Another reserve, center Ante Zizic put up solid numbers by scoring 13 and hauling down six boards.
The third-place Cavaliers were expected to have an easier road in the Eastern Conference
"I thought Jordan was playing well, being aggressive, so we chose to stay with him", Drew said.
"I knew he was struggling, but he was never not himself".
"I was talking to myself taking a shower, asking what I did wrong because he was the first player to score 40 on me", he said.
The Cavs improve to 41-29 in the east with the win and remain just a half-game ahead of the Indiana Pacers in third as they gear up for a busy week that will see them take on conference leaders the Toronto Raptors in their next outing. By the time the horn sounded, the Cavs held a 26-25 lead. "We wanted to get this win and we had Kev (Love) back".
That was close as they would get, as the Knicks followed with a 21-5 stretch and opened up a 77-57 lead on the second of Hardaway's consecutive 3-pointers with 2:35 left in the quarter.
"Stay committed to my regimen", James said when asked about the key to his recent play, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin. But if he tells me to make a decision, then I'll have to make a decision.