NBA: LeBron back in groove as Cavs routs Nuggets

James finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as Cleveland improved to 50-20 for the season to ensure it finish on top of the Eastern Conference’s Central Division.

LeBron James (white jersey) passes the ball over the Denver Nuggets players.   -  AP

LeBron James notched the 41st triple double of his career as the Cleveland Cavaliers wrapped up the NBA Central Division title Monday with a 124-91 blowout of the Denver Nuggets.

James finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as Cleveland improved to 50-20 for the season to ensure it finish on top of the Eastern Conference’s Central Division.





Forward Channing Frye added 14 points after taking the place of Kevin Love, who was ruled out with an illness. J. R. Smith chipped in with 15 points and Matthew Dellavedova 10 points for a comfortable victory.

“I think a 50-win season in this league, it’s not every year you can do that,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.

“It just shows the hard work the guys have put in to get to this point.”

The Cavs romped into a 19-point lead in the first quarter before Denver fought its way back into the contest in the second with 17 unanswered points when Cleveland’s bench came on.

However the Cavs soon took a stranglehold on the game, racing away to a 33-point lead by the end of the fourth quarter.

It was a convincing return to form by Cleveland after the embarrassment of Saturday’s 122-101 defeat at Miami.

Lue said he hoped Monday’s win heralded the start of greater consistency from the Cavaliers, last year’s runner-up in the NBA Finals.

“All is not bad,” Lue said. “We’re still growing, we’re still getting better on a night-to-night basis and we can celebrate this, but we’ve got to keep moving forward.”