CLEVELAND— LeBron James scored 33 points and recorded his 41st career triple-double as the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched their second straight Central Division title with a 124-91 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.
James added 11 rebounds and 11 assists before checking out with 6:02 left to a thunderous ovation. He scored 17 in the first quarter, helping the Cavs build a 19-point lead and erase the memory of an embarrassing loss on Saturday in Miami.
The Nuggets fought back and briefly led before the Cavs regrouped, scored 68 after halftime and easily notched their 50th win.
J.R. Smith added 15 points and Channing Frye 14 for Cleveland, which played without starter Kevin Love (illness).
Will Barton scored 27 for the Nuggets, who concluded a 1-4 road trip. Denver’s Kenneth Faried missed his third straight game with a sore lower back.