Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James tallied 20 points with 11 rebounds and six assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers edged the Philadelphia 76ers 87-86 on Sunday.
The final margin stayed true for the last 3:57 of the game as both offenses struggled mightily down the stretch.
"Some games it's just offensively we don't have any type of rhythm, which we didn't have tonight," James said. "But you gotta find a way to win and we did that tonight."
Kyrie Irving scored 17 points and Timofey Mozgov checked in with 14 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, which has won 16 straight at home.
The Cavs have won five of their last six overall.
Robert Covington supplied a team-high 19 points for the Sixers, who shot 4- of-10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter in losing for a fourth time in their last five.
"It's just one of those things in sport that happens. (We) played our hearts out," said Sixers coach Brett Brown. "For me, it's how well we played defensively. I'm proud of the effort that we played with defensively."
Iman Shumpert hit two 3-pointers during a 10-0 run to close the first quarter that handed Cleveland a 26-20 lead after 12 minutes. Philadelphia was held scoreless for the final 3:11 of the quarter.
Mozgov netted consecutive buckets to give the Cavs a 51-40 lead late in the second. The Sixers cut the deficit to 53-45 at halftime.
Covington's 3-pointer early in the third tied the game at 56-56. Irving followed with a triple of his own, then Kevin Love converted from deep to extend the margin to 62-56. The Cavaliers led 72-69 entering the fourth quarter.
The game remained close in the final frame, as Philadelphia was game to pull off the upset. Mozgov's putback pushed Cleveland's lead to 87-83 with 4:04 remaining, but both offenses would struggle the rest of the way. Covington answered with a 3 seven seconds later, then the shooting droughts occurred.
Covington missed a pair of free throws that could have given the Sixers the lead with 1:07 on the clock, but James missed a jumper at the other end to give the visitors yet another chance. Ish Smith missed a wide open 3-pointer from the top of the key on the Sixers' ensuing possession prior to Irving missing on a runner at the other end.
Philadelphia's Nerlens Noel got a nice look working on Tristan Thompson down low in the closing seconds. However, his attempt was long and the Cavs held on to continue their dominance at Quicken Loans Arena.
Cleveland shot 7-of-25 in the fourth, while Philadelphia made 5-of-18 attempts from the floor ... Shumpert left the game with an apparent ankle injury and did not return ... Love had 10 points and 10 boards in the win ... The Sixers return home to play the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday ... Cleveland hosts the Heat on Thursday.