LeBron turns up the heat

In a game touted as a possible NBA finals match-up, Cleveland avenged a 112-94 loss to the Warriors in January as they notched their fourth straight victory and an 18th win in their last 20 games.

Kyrie Irving contributed 24 points and Kevin Love chipped in 16 points and eight rebounds for the hosts.

“We’re not trying to send a message, we’re just trying to improve every time we get an opportunity to come out on the floor and play,” said James.
“We’ve been doing some good things the last couple of months, but we’ve still got a lot of room to improve. Hopefully we’ll continue that.”

The Cavaliers have taken a slim lead over Chicago at the top of the Central Division, and their 37-22 record puts them third overall in the Eastern Conference behind Atlanta and Toronto.

Stephen Curry and David Lee combined for 23 points in the first quarter as the Warriors made half of their shots to seize a 33-32 lead.

Cleveland responded with an 8-0 scoring run, as James scored the final six points of the burst that carried the Cavs to a 43-37 lead with more than eight minutes left in the second quarter.

Golden State quickly tied the score, but a three-pointer from Love late in the frame helped the Cavs take a 61-56 halftime lead.

Golden State sharp-shooter Klay Thompson made his first three-pointer of the night early in the third to trim the deficit.

James answered with a jump shot and closed a 12-0 Cavaliers scoring run with five straight points that extended the hosts’ lead to 16.

Cleveland led 90-78 going into the fourth quarter and didn’t give up the advantage in the final period.