CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James scored 27 points with 13 assists, Kevin Love added 22 points and 18 rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Charlotte Hornets 97-88 on Monday night.
The Cavaliers jumped to a 21-0 lead, but the Hornets regrouped and got within two points early in the third quarter before the Cavaliers pulled away. Charlotte trailed 59-57, but Cleveland regained control and pushed the lead back to double figures.
The Cavaliers ended the third on a 21-9 run. James scored seven points while Tristan Thompson added seven, including two dunks on assists from Kyrie Irving. Love hit a 3-pointer late in the quarter and Charlotte got no closer than eight points.
Irving scored 16 points for the Cavaliers, who were coming off consecutive road losses to Oklahoma City and New Orleans after winning eight in a row.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 24 points and Al Jefferson added 14.
In information provided by the Cavaliers from Elias Sports Bureau, the 21-0 lead to start a game is the largest to start a game since Portland scored the first 22 points against Boston in 2004.