LeBron James capped his 64th career triple-double with an 18-foot, fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to lift the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 140-138 overtime victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
James finished with 37 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists, and he set the stage for his game-winner with a block on Jimmy Butler on the previous defensive possession, the first blocked shot of the game for the Cavaliers.
James followed by catching the inbounds pass from Jeff Green and nailing the jumper to send Cleveland to its first win on national television this season. The Cavaliers had been 0-8 in such games, losing by an average of 18 points per game.
Butler scored a team-high 35 points while Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Jeff Teague also recorded a double-double with 14 points and 15 assists.
Seven Cavaliers scored in double figures. J.R. Smith scored 20 points while hitting six 3-pointers.
The shootout featured 34 lead changes and 16 ties. The teams combined for an NBA-record 40 treys, with Cleveland finishing 21 of 41 from behind the arc and the Timberwolves 19 of 33.
Regulation closed with a flourish. After Minnesota opened the fourth quarter with consecutive 3-pointers to reclaim a 105-101 lead, Cleveland responded with five 3-pointers over the ensuing seven minutes to match its largest lead of the night at 124-116. Right on cue, the Timberwolves made an 8-0 run, and Minnesota moved ahead 129-126 when Towns drilled a 3-pointer with 54.3 seconds left.
James followed with a trey that tied the game but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and overtime followed.
Cleveland made half of its eight 3-point attempts and shot 61.9 percent in the first quarter but led by just two points entering the second because Minnesota was up to the challenge from the perimeter, connecting on 5 of 8 long-distance attempts.
Momentum proved fickle until late in the second quarter when the Timberwolves rolled off a 10-0 run to claim a 66-62 lead. However, Cleveland opened the second half with an 8-0 run, and the pendulum started to swing again.
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