CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James scored 40 points and took over in the fourth quarter as the Cleveland Cavaliers, fueled by a rabid home crowd that booed every move by Chicago’s Joakim Noah, maintained home-court advantage by beating the Bulls 112-102 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
James added eight rebounds and eight assists for the Cavs, who led 96-93 with 4:30 left before the league’s soon-to-be-two-time MVP decided to dominate.
James dropped a 3-pointer that he capped with a quick dance move and wink toward Chicago’s bench, made two free throws, a layup and two jumpers, scoring 11 straight as Cleveland opened a 107-98 lead with 1:36 left.
Noah, who criticized Cleveland’s lack of downtown activity, scored 25 points.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Chicago.