Isaiah Thomas Drops 31 on Cavs: 'Nobody Holds Me in Check'

This wasn't so much a meeting of the East's top two teams Wednesday as it was a showdown between the planet's greatest player and Isaiah Thomas, the former No. 60 pick who dreams of replacing LeBron James someday.

The Cavs' lead over the Celtics is now down to 3 games as the season heads into its final stretch.

Deron Williams scored four points in 24 minutes in his first game for the Cavaliers since being acquired this week. Thomas also matched a season high with seven turnovers in Monday's setback as the Celtics surrendered 25 points on 18 miscues.

LeBron James, who has led his team to the NBA Finals five seasons in a row (the Heat three times, the Cavs twice), logged 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh triple-double of the season and 49th of his career.

"We just want to get him adjusted as fast as we can, just let him get his rhythm back", Irving said of Williams.

"I made plays", he said. What followed? Three pointers from Crowder, Jonas Jerebko, Crowder, Bradley and then Thomas with the deep ball over Derrick Williams. "These guys will kill you if we string together possessions like we did the other night, play with less poise and don't get back".

Williams, a 32-year-old 12-year veteran, ranks fourth in career assists among all active National Basketball Association players.

For the fifth consecutive game, Al Horford was held to single digits in scoring. Irving still finished with 28 points. Big man Andrew Bogut is expected to sign and join the team soon after clearing waivers at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Bradley went almost 15 minutes of game time sitting on the bench before he got a chance to get back on the floor in the fourth quarter.

James was forced to carry the load for a time after Irving picked up his second foul with 3:51 left in the first quarter. They'll need a strong, four-quarter game to beat Cleveland, but that may not be enough. Kevin Love tops in rebounds with 11.1 while Tristan Thompson leads in blocks with 1.2 per game.

The Cavs' next play on Friday against the Atlanta Hawks in Kyle Korver's fist game back in Atlanta since being acquired by Cleveland.

The Cavs were coming off a league-best 9-2 record in February and wanted to continue that momentum, a task made tougher by 12 of 17 games on the road this month.

  • Arturo Norris