It didn't start out particularly well for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Cavs shooting was off early in the game, as was the Thunder's. But when you have LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, things tend to sort themselves out.
In the first half, the Cavaliers shot a paltry 43.2 percent from the field and, as a result, only held a nine-point lead at the half despite Oklahoma City shooting 35.8 percent from the field. And at the half, LeBron already had 20 points, as Irving didn't make his first shot until there was 4:13 left in the second quarter.
In the third, with LeBron on the bench, the Thunder briefly took the lead after the Cavaliers led by as many as 11 in the period. But then Irving and Love took control of the Cavs offense in that quarter, scoring eight and six points, respectively. The Cavs led by five at the end of the third.
And when LeBron returned in the fourth, the Cavs took full control of the game. LeBron had 13 points in the fourth quarter alone, while Irving added six and Love scored five. The Cavs' scoring output, paired with the Thunder continued struggles from the field, resulted in the game being decided with roughly four minutes still left to play.
James finished with a game-high 34 points, while Irving added 21 and Love had 19 points - 15 of which came on 3-pointers - and 13 rebounds. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 32 points and former Cavs guard Dion Waiters 14 points on 5-15 shooting in his first game back in Cleveland since being traded to Oklahoma City as part of a three-team deal on Jan. 5.
Cleveland's win was its sixth straight and brought the Cavs within 4.5 games of the Washington Wizards for second place in the Eastern Conference and 3.5 games back of the Chicago Bulls for first place in the Central Division.
The Cavaliers next play on Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. from the Palace at Auburn Hills.