James lifts road-weary Cavs to big win over Rockets

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CLEVELAND (Reuters) - LeBron James sparked a game-deciding third quarter run as the Cleveland Cavaliers crushed the Houston Rockets 108-83 for their fourth consecutive win on Sunday.

James had eight of his 29 points in the first four minutes of the second half and the Cavaliers outscored the Rockets 32-15 in the third quarter to break open a close game.

Cleveland trailed 16-4 early in the first quarter before responding to forge a 51-48 at halftime lead, with James blaming the sluggish start on a four-game Western swing in which they won three times.

"You can't shy away from the fact that those road trips take a toll on you when you come back home," James told reporters.

"You are trying to catch up on sleep but at the same time you have a job to do."

Houston coach Rick Adelman admitted that a fourth game in five nights had also taken its toll.

"We ran out of energy," Adelman said. "It was just a very poor second half."

Mo Williams added 20 points and Shaquille O'Neal had 13 and 11 rebounds for the Central Division leaders.

Williams sank four of the Cavaliers' seven three-pointers with James adding two.

"We're playing better together and getting more comfortable together and where my spots are," Williams said of James.

Guard Aaron Brooks paced Houston with 23 points.

"We hit a wall tonight," Brooks said. "They hit shots. We didn't. LeBron came down, hit a couple of threes. Mo hit a couple threes. It seemed like that third quarter, we couldn't stop the bleeding."

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by John O'Brien)