PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Kyrie Irving had 19 of his season-high 39 points in the fourth quarter and LeBron James added a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 112-108 comeback victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
Kevin Love chipped in 25 points and 11 rebounds to help the defending champions (13-2) improve to their fourth straight win.
Joel Embiid led seven players in double figures with 22 points for the 76ers, who have lost three straight. Embiid also had nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
The Cavaliers never led through the first three quarters, but Irving got hot early in the fourth to put Cleveland in front. He gave Cleveland its first lead on a layup 2:38 into the period and had 10 of the first 13 Cavaliers fourth-quarter points on a variety of jumpers and drives. His layup with 7:51 left gave Cleveland its biggest lead to that point, 90-86.
Love was limited to 28 minutes after receiving stitches for a cut over his right eye sustained early in the first quarter.
Cleveland trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half. The Cavaliers got as close as 72-70 on James Jones’ 3-pointer with 3:53 left in the third quarter. But the 76ers scored nine of the next 10 points, capped by Dario Saric’s 3-pointer that made it 81-71. James had four and Love two as the Cavaliers ran off the final six points of the quarter to enter the final period down 81-77.
The Cavs missed their first 14 shots, but Philadelphia couldn’t take full advantage and led just 10-2 before James’ driving layup with 6:50 left in the first quarter resulted in Cleveland’s first field goal.
James and Embiid got into a verbal altercation late in the first quarter. Richard Jefferson was whistled for a foul on Embiid’s drive, and James questioned the call. Embiid went toward James’ direction, but officials stepped between the players. The incident drew a rise in the crowd.
James provided a couple of first-half highlights, dunking with 6:03 left in the first quarter and then following a missed free throw with a dunk with 1:17 to go in the first half. He has three triple-doubles this season.
Cavaliers: Smith went 0 for 11 from the field, including 0 for 7 from 3-point range. . Channing Frye (personal) was not with the team. Frye’s father died Thursday. . Cleveland beat Philadelphia 102-101 on Nov. 5. . The Cavaliers arrived in Philadelphia on Saturday night following their attendance at the Ohio State-Michigan football game. . James’ 3-pointer with 5:01 left in the second period was his 1,000th as a member of the Cavaliers. . Cleveland has made at least 10 3-pointers in every game this season.
76ers: Jerryd Bayless (left wrist) didn’t play. Bayless missed the first 13 games of the season with a left wrist injury. . Embiid didn’t play in Friday’s 105-89 loss to the Bulls and won’t play Monday night at Toronto, marking the sixth game he will miss this season as part of his rehab plan after sitting out the last two seasons with a foot injury.
Cavaliers: At Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
76ers: At Toronto on Monday night.
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