Like the rest of the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers are a step – OK, several — behind the Golden State Warriors. On Monday night, LeBron James finally stopped chasing the champs, and acted like them instead.
James finally recorded his first triple-double of the season, and 40th of his career, as the Cavs topped the Sacramento Kings, 120-100, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. What’s more, The King did it in a way very reminiscent of Stephen Curry and his Warriors running mates — he pulled down the triple-double-clinching rebound late in the third quarter and rested the entire fourth.
"I didn’t know until I sat down on the bench and I looked up at the scoreboard," James told the media after the game. "Get over the hump, finally. To do it in three quarters was even more impressive. It allowed me to get some rest."
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LeBron James: 40th career triple-double (7th-most all-time … 3 behind Fat Lever for 6th)
Also like Curry, James got plenty of help from his teammates. Curry gets plenty of triple-doubles from Draymond Green and plenty of scoring help from fellow guard Klay Thompson; James on Monday saw point guard Kyrie Irving tie a season high with 32 points and tie his career mark with 12 assists. Irving was 13 of 21 from the field and J.R. Smith hit six 3-pointers, finishing with 22 points.
"I think health-wise, he’s great," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said of Irving, who missed the first 24 games after surgery for a fractured left kneecap. "I still think he’s trying to get his legs back a little bit. He did a great job tonight."