The Cleveland Cavaliers extended their start to the season to 8-1 with a 100-93 win over the Charlotte Hornets at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Trailing 72-71 heading into the fourth quarter, it was time for LeBron James to take over and showcase exactly why he is the best player in the NBA.
James had just eight points in the opening 36 minutes but came to life when it mattered and led his team to another victory with an impressive performance.
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The 31-year-old took his scoring to double figures with a driving layup, handing the Cavaliers a five-point lead just moments after blocking a layup attempt by Frank Kaminsky.
LeBron continued his strong quarter with a turnaround fadeaway, a three-pointer and two assists to Channing Frye to cap a run of contributing to ten successive points for the home team.
Cleveland's lead was up to as much as 11 but the Hornets had it back to a four-point deficit with just 1:30 remaining in the encounter. However, an assist to Jordan McRae and a clutch three extended the margin to nine with 42 seconds on the clock.
Frye's 20-point outing, including going 50% from downtown, and Kyrie Irving's 19 points were huge for the defending champions, but despite James' modest, in his terms, box score, his influence in the final quarter could not be overstated.
It wasn't a performance that will live long in the memory, but it showcased the importance of the four-time MVP when it matters most. His final box score read 19 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.