(The Sports Xchange) - Veteran forward James Jones launched a blistering tirade at his Cleveland team mates, including LeBron James, at halftime of Friday’s clash against the winless Philadelphia 76ers, which helped spark them to a 108-102 victory.
The Cavs were struggling to maintain focus for the third consecutive game and Jones, who has been alongside James for five consecutive NBA Finals appearances, had seen enough.
If the Cavaliers want to be great, he said, they have to do things a different way.
“That hit home for us,” Cleveland forward Kevin Love said.
“Not much needed to be said (after that). We just went out there in the third quarter and had a lot better effort.”
James scored 18 points in the third quarter on his way to 31 points and 13 assists for Cleveland.
“J.J. got on all of us and we responded,” James said.
“I respect J.J. probably more than anybody in this area because of my relationship with him and how long we’ve been together. It’s my job to respond.”
James became the 20th player in NBA history with 9,000 career field goals. He reached the milestone on a dunk in the first half — just as he reached the 25,000-point club on Monday against the Sixers on a dunk in Philadelphia.
He is now one of five active players with 9,000 baskets, joining Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki.
Love had 12 points and 14 rebounds, center Timofey Mozgov scored 13 points and guard Mo Williams added 16 points and eight assists. Forward Richard Jefferson came off the bench to score 17 points.
Forward Nerlens Noel posted his third double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds, rookie Jahlil Okafor scored 18 points and guard Isaiah Canaan came off the bench to add 17 points for the Sixers.
“I was proud of our team,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said.
“I think we were better than the last time we played them. We were just better, longer. I feel that we’re getting better.”
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury