When LeBron James scores 41 points the team he’s playing on, in this case the Cleveland Cavaliers, generally comes out on top. That’s what happened Friday night, when King James unleashed a 41-point effort in the Cavaliers’ 122-121 win over the Boston Celtics.
Cleveland was down by 19 points on the road against Boston, in large part because they allowed the Celtics to score 42 points in the third quarter. Then a rejuvenated James got hot in the fourth, the Cavaliers held Boston to just 20 points in the final 12 minutes, and Cleveland stunned the Boston faithful with a come-from-behind victory.
James’ 41 points were his season high and a refreshing sight for Cavalier fans. It was just as welcome to the Cavaliers players.
James had 10 points in the fourth quarter while teammate Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 27 in the final stanza. Irving started the fourth quarter hot, but got upset with James for “taking his foot off the gas a little” in the early going. He then approached James and told him to be more aggressive.
“Kyrie told me to be aggressive and stop being so passive. I told him ‘All you gotta do is talk to me,'” James said after the game about Irving approaching him in the fourth quarter. “These young guys are like my kids. They’re not accustomed to reading textbooks. They like iPads, and you’ve got to ‘show them.’ And that’s the process that we’re in right now.”
James, Irving, Kevin Love and the rest of the Cavaliers have had trouble meshing at times early this season. Expectations have been high for the Cavs since LeBron James said he was “coming home” to Cleveland and Love was traded to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins.
Yet the Cavs have just gotten above .500 with a 4-3 record following last night’s win over the Celtics. LeBron and the Miami Heat also struggled early when James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh teamed up in South Beach amid ridiculous expectations and hype.
With Irving telling James to be more aggressive, and with James clearly responding to the call against Boston, the Cavs may finally be working through those early struggles. The Cavaliers will find out tonight if that’s the case. Cleveland hosts the 5-3 Atlanta Hawks tonight at 7:30pm EST at Quicken Loans Arena.