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Big Three lifts Cavs past Pelicans

Nov 11, 2014 - 4:23 AM Cleveland, OH ( - LeBron James delivered a triple-double in his second home game back in Cleveland, and the Cavaliers continued to make strides by coming through with a hard-earned 118-111 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.

James tallied 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists and the Cavs also received huge contributions from their two other stars en route to a second straight win following a sluggish 1-3 start.

"I don't care that we all know he can do it," Cavaliers coach David Blatt said of James, "but you go out there and have a triple-double and lead your team the way he did, it's easy to overlook that."

Kyrie Irving scored 27 of his 32 points in the second half and Kevin Love buried four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter while chipping in 22 points for Cleveland, which hit on 13-of-27 attempts from beyond the arc for the game.

Ryan Anderson went 8-of-12 from long distance for New Orleans and totaled 32 points, but only nine came after halftime. Anthony Davis posted 27 points and 14 rebounds and Jrue Holiday finished with 16 points in the loss.

"Our defense got us tonight. We didn't play much," said Pelicans coach Monty Williams. "And our shot selection was poor."

James, Irving and Love all were at the forefront of a 25-7 run that spanned portions of the third and fourth quarters and turned a nine-point deficit into a 94-85 lead with under nine minutes to play.

Irving netted the first nine points of the surge, in which Cleveland outscored the Pelicans 16-1 over the final 4 1/2 minutes of the third quarter. Five straight from James later on, capped by a thunderous jam with 2.6 seconds left in the period, sent the Cavs into the fourth owning an 85-79 edge.

New Orleans went more than seven minutes without a field goal until Austin Rivers' runner with 10:22 to go cut the lead to 88-83, but Love knocked down a three on the other end and hit another shortly afterward to put Cleveland up by nine.

The Pelicans answered with a 7-0 spurt that Anderson ended with a trey to trim the margin to 94-92 with seven minutes left. It remained a two-point game with under four minutes to play, before Love sank another triple to ignite a 9-0 push that concluded with an Irving 3-pointer on James' 10th assist.

"Our defense definitely sparked our offense tonight, which is the way we need to play," said Irving.

Anderson was the star of the first half, accumulating 18 points over the opening 15 minutes of play and leading a 10-2 run to begin the second quarter that staked the Pelicans to a 38-26 lead.

The sharp-shooting forward racked up 23 points over the initial two quarters, doing most of the damage on a 5-of-7 success rate from 3-point range.

James got the Cavs back in it later in the period, scoring the final four points of a 6-0 spurt that cut the margin to 49-46 with 1:40 left in the half, and Cleveland trailed 56-51 at the break after Joe Harris beat the buzzer on a layup.

Game Notes

James' triple-double was the 38th of his career in regular-season play ... The Cavaliers dished out 27 assists after recording 25 in Friday's 110-101 win at Denver ... Cleveland played without sixth man Dion Waiters, out with a lower back contusion he suffered against the Nuggets ... New Orleans' Tyreke Evans had 10 assists, but shot just 2-of-14 from the field for six points before fouling out late ... The Pelicans had won six of the last seven meetings between the teams, all of which took place during James' tenure in Miami.