LEBRON James beat the overtime buzzer with the game-winning basket as the Cleveland Cavaliers escaped with a 140-138 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves to halt a two-game skid on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).
James came out on top in his duel with Jimmy Butler in overtime, blocking a possible tiebreaker from the Timberwolves guard before knocking down the 18-footer at the buzzer to give the Cavs a confidence-boosting win to improve to 31-22.
The Cavs star led the way with a triple-double as he ended up with 37 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, while knocking down five of Cleveland's 21 triples in the game.
After a back-and-forth battle for most of the game, the Cavaliers reserves went on a 10-0 run early in the fourth and led by eight, 119-111, with 6:10 to play. But the Timberwolves kept fighting, with Karl-Anthony Towns knotting it up at 124-all at the two-minute mark.
Andrew Wiggins kept the game tied with a jumper following a pair of free throws from Isaiah Thomas, before Towns and James traded triples to keep the score at 129-all. Both teams came up empty on their next possessions that paved the way for overtime.
Butler scored Minnesota’s first seven points in OT before Wiggins hit a jumper that put the Timberwolves up 138-136 with 1:21 remaining. James, though, tied the game again with a layup at the 24-second mark. The Cavs star then blocked Butler on the next play to set up his game-winner.
JR Smith knocked down six triples to finish with 20 points as Tristan Thompson chipped in 17 markers. Kyle Korver scored 14 while Jeff Green and Thomas added 13 points, apiece.
Butler led Minnesota (34-23) with 35 points as Towns added 30 markers.