The Cavaliers haven’t lost their holiday spirit.
Cleveland showed its Christmas Day win over the Los Angeles Lakers was no gift as LeBron James scored 37 points, including 12 straight down the stretch, and the Cavs, playing their first game without injured Mo Williams, beat Kobe Bryant and the NBA champions, 93-87, last night in Cleveland.
J.J. Hickson grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds and Anderson Varejao made three free throws in the final 20 seconds as Cleveland swept the season series.
That could give the Cavs home-court advantage if they meet the Lakers in the NBA Finals.
A lot can happen between now and then, but the win gave Cleveland confidence it might be able to survive despite losing Williams, their All-Star point guard who will miss at least one month with a shoulder sprain.
Williams scored a team-high 28 points in Cleveland’s Dec. 25 win at Staples Center.
Bryant finished with 31 points but was only 4 of 15 in the second half as the Lakers lost the opener of an eight-game road trip. Pau Gasol scored 13 for Los Angeles.
Bryant surpassed 25,000 career points in the first half, but he was unable to match James in the fourth quarter as both teams turned to their superstars.
Nuggets 105, Clippers 85 - Chauncey Billups scored 13 of his 20 points in the third quarter to break open a tight game, and host Denver defeated the Clippers for its fifth straight victory.