By Steve Herrick
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CLEVELAND _ LeBron James scored a season-high 31 points, including his 9,000th career field goal, and the Cleveland Cavaliers recorded their fifth straight victory, 108-102 over the winless Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.
James remained in the game after taking a hard fall driving to the basket early in the fourth quarter. He was on the court for a couple of moments and limped to the bench after being checked by a trainer. James was pulled with 2:31 remaining and Cleveland (5-1) leading 104-90.
James, who scored 18 points in the third quarter, reached his latest milestone with a dunk late in the second quarter to become the 20th player in NBA history _ and fifth active _ to record 9,000 field goals.
Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor scored 18 points each for Philadelphia (0-5).
James took over in the third quarter when he hit three 3-pointers as the Cavaliers turned a 50-49 halftime deficit into a 16-point lead. James came into the game shooting 2 of 18 from beyond the arc.
Richard Jefferson scored 17 points while Mo Williams added 16 for Cleveland, which hasn’t lost since the season opener against Chicago.
Cleveland’s fast start has come despite a series of injuries. James received an anti-inflammatory injection in his back in training camp, but has played in every game in the regular season.
Kyrie Irving (fractured kneecap) and Iman Shumpert (wrist surgery) have yet to play and J.R. Smith (bruised knee and strained quadriceps) has missed the last two games.
Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson left the game late in the first quarter after sustaining a cut on his right eyelid. He received stitches and returned a minute before halftime.
Sixers: Philadelphia scored seven points in the final 32 seconds of the first quarter, including a dunk and a 3-pointer by T.J. McConnell. … JaKarr Sampson, who attended Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary H.S., best known as the alma mater of James, scored five points.
Cavaliers: Jared Cunningham, playing shooting guard, made his first career start. He was scoreless in 21 minutes. Cunningham is with his fifth team in four years, having played previously with Dallas, the Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta and Sacramento. …. The Cavaliers rallied from a 15-point deficit in the first half to defeat the Sixers 107-100 on Monday in Philadelphia.
Sixers: Host Orlando on Saturday.
Cavaliers: Host Indiana on Sunday.