Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - In a possible NBA Finals preview, the Cleveland Cavaliers avenged an earlier loss to the Golden State Warriors and made a statement thanks to a huge performance from LeBron James.
James recorded a season-high 42 points with 11 rebounds and five assists as the Cavs continued their hot play with a 110-99 win over the Warriors on Thursday night.
Cleveland, which has won four straight and 18 of its last 20, dropped a 112-94 decision against Golden State in early January that was the fourth loss of a season-high six-game losing streak.
James did not play in that game and it proved to be a huge difference in the rematch.
Kyrie Irving chipped in 24 points and Kevin Love posted 16 points and eight rebounds in the win.
"When LeBron is getting it going like that, it is definitely tough for any opposing defense," Irving said. "I was a fan tonight, as I am every night when playing with all these guys. It was definitely something special what he put on tonight especially against the best team in the league."
Irving injured his shoulder and is listed as doubtful for Friday's game at Indiana.
David Lee paced the Warriors with 19 points and Draymond Green added 16 points and eight rebounds. Stephen Curry was locked down for most of the night, scoring 12 of his 18 points in the first quarter in the Warriors' second loss in their last three games.
Cleveland had the lead after a high-scoring first half. Curry and Lee combined for 23 points in the first quarter as Golden State made half of its shots and took a 33-32 lead into the second.
James, who registered 24 points in the opening half, scored the final six points of an 8-0 run for a 43-37 Cavs lead with over eight minutes left in the second.
The Warriors tied the score moments later, but a Love 3-pointer late in the quarter pushed the lead to eight and Cleveland led 61-56 at half.
"It was a tough game," said Curry. "We played hard, had some careless turnovers, but for the most part I think we executed. Our shots didn't fall. When (LeBron) does what he did tonight, you gotta be perfect, especially on the road."
Klay Thompson's first 3-pointer of the night came early in the third and cut Golden State's deficit to 65-61. James followed with a jumper, then closed what turned out to be a 12-0 spurt with the final five points that stretched the lead to 16. The Cavs led 90-78 after three quarters.
Cleveland maintained its lead in the fourth quarter for an 11th consecutive win at Quicken Loans Arena.
It was James' 55th career 40-point game ... Cleveland snapped a four-game home losing streak in the series ... The Cavs have won 16 straight when scoring at least 100 points and 10 straight over Western Conference foes ... Timofey Mozgov had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland ... Curry shot 5-of-17 for the game ... Each team scored 19 points off turnovers.