BOSTON (AP) – LeBron James scored a season-high 41 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 122-121 in the NBA on Friday.
James made one of two free throws with 36 seconds left to give Cleveland a one-point lead. Boston then got the ball back with seven seconds to go, but Rajon Rondo lost control of his dribble just before time expired.
Cleveland held Boston to 20 points in the final 12 minutes after allowing 42 in the third.
“We gave up a 40-point quarter and that’s unacceptable if we want to grow,” James said, “but we showed growth in the fourth quarter.”
Irving had 27 points and Kevin Love added 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who earned their third straight win.
In other games, Detroit topped struggling Oklahoma City 96-89 in overtime, Houston kept Philadelphia winless with an 88-87 victory, and New Orleans shattered several team records in a 139-91 win over Minnesota.
The Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile, lost to San Antonio 93-80 in one of the worst shooting games of Kobe Bryant’s 19-year NBA career, and the New York Knicks slumped to their seventh straight loss, 102-100 to Utah.
Detroit’s Brandon Jennings scored 25 of his 29 points in the second half and overtime to lead the Pistons past the Thunder.
Jennings made a tiebreaking 3-pointer to give the Pistons an 87-84 lead with 2:32 left in overtime, then another to increase the margin to 92-84.
Jeremy Lamb set career highs with 24 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which fell to 3-7 on the season.
Houston’s James Harden scored 35 points, including an off-balance layup with nine seconds left, to beat winless Philadelphia.
The Sixers led by one point before Michael Carter-Williams bounced the ball off his foot and out of bounds to give Houston the ball. Harden powered through the lane to hit the game-winner.
The Sixers dropped to 0-9 for their worst start since opening the 1972-73 season with 15 consecutive losses.
In New Orleans, the Pelicans set single-game team records for total points (139), field goals made (56), field-goal percentage (66.7) and margin of victory (48 points). Their 15 3-pointers tied a club high.
Jrue Holiday missed just one shot while scoring 24 points through three quarters for New Orleans. Anthony Davis added 22 points.
San Antonio’s Cory Joseph scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter to help the Spurs put away the Lakers.
Bryant was 1 for 14 from the field, scoring nine points. The NBA’s leading scorer missed his first 10 shots and all five of his 3-point attempts.
Tim Duncan had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard scored 12 points for the defending NBA champion Spurs.
The Knicks lost on a buzzer-beating jumper by Utah’s Trey Burke despite getting 46 points from Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony’s 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds had tied it at 100, but Burke caught the ball near the Jazz bench and nailed the jumper for the win.