The Cleveland Cavaliers eked out a win Friday against the Indiana Pacers to temporarily halt a midseason slump that saw them lose seven of 11 games in January. LeBron James led the way with his first career quadruple-double. Unfortunately for James, one of the four statistical categories he reached double figures in was turnovers, as he coughed the ball up 11 times.
Six of James’ turnovers came during the fourth quarter, as the Pacers cut the Cavs’ 17-point lead down to a five-point deficit with just under 1:44 remaining in the game. James put up 26 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds to go with his 11 turnovers over the course of playing 40 minutes. Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue chalked some of the miscues up to LeBron’s heavy workload.
“I just think he got tired down the stretch,” Lue said during a postgame press conference. “I think we tried to use him a little too much, and that’s on me. He’s got to do a better job making some better passes also.” You can view Lues comments in the video above at the 28-second mark.
James likened the game to “a four-interception game for a quarterback with a win.” In addition to James’ uneven performance, the game provided some Twitter fuel in the form of Kevin Love inadvertently throwing his warmup jacket over teammate Jeff Green’s head.
Kevin Love had enough of this Cavs BS pic.twitter.com/7WH9dnhmlA— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) January 27, 2018
Kevin Love tossed his warm-ups in Jeff Green's face, and Green was pissed. pic.twitter.com/yceoLses9w— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 27, 2018
As memes of Green being used as a human laundry hamper circulated online, Love joked to reporters that he made the toss on purpose and didn’t like Green.
In the midst of a particularly tepid stretch of play that James referred to as “strugglesville,” Friday offered a few encouraging signs. Center Tristan Thompson returned to the starting lineup and posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. J.R. Smith also returned to the starting lineup, and scored a season-high 23 points.