Cavaliers regain top spot in the East with rout of Celtics
LeBron James forces a shot as Al Horford tries to keep him down. AP

THE Cleveland Cavaliers took charge early and never let up, ripping the Celtics, 114-91, in the battle of Eastern Conference leaders on Wednesday in Boston (Thursday, Manila time).

LeBron James scored 15 of his 36 in the second quarter, when the Cavaliers overpowered the Celtics with a 22-4 blast.

Cleveland made it four straight wins and regained the top spot in the East with a 51-27 win-loss record.

The Celtics saw their win streak end at two, slipping to second at 50-28.

Kyrie Irving had 19 points on 7 of 18 shooting, while Kevin Love had a double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds.

The Cavaliers made 11 of 36 three-pointers for 30.6 percent, while the Celtics went a dismal 7 for 33 percent from beyond the arc.

Isaiah Thomas made only one of eight attempts from the three-point line and finished with 26 points.

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