CLEVELAND (AP) – LeBron James looked at the clock and the marker and did not blink.
It was time to fix things. Your time Closing time.
"He looks like that," said Cavaliers forward Kyle Korver.
James scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and rallied to Cleveland from a 17-point deficit to stun the Washington Wizards 119-115 on Thursday night to keep the No. 3 spot in the playoffs at Eastern Conference.
The Cavs lost 104-87 with 7:35 minutes left before breaking through behind James, who added 14 assists, nine rebounds and made sure coach Tyronn Lue got a win in his comeback after missing nine games for health reasons.
Cleveland fell 14 when James registered with 7:48 minutes to play, and 13 seconds later, the deficit increased to 17 when the three-time champion took off in one of those races that have made him famous.
"I do not have a bone to quit smoking, so if I'm on the court I have to try to make the plays happen no matter what the score is," he said. "That's just my way of thinking."
Jeff Green added 21 points and Kevin Love had 16 for the Cavs, who are 10-1 since March 17, when Lue was forced to leave a game in Chicago with "penetrating" chest pains. Lue, who has changed his diet and is taking medication to sleep, has returned to a Cleveland team that seems to be moving forward in time for the playoffs.
But it took another one of those patented kicks by James to defeat the Wizards, who have lost seven of nine and are in a three-way battle with Milwaukee and Miami to position themselves in the playoffs.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks said he feared James would do exactly what he did.
"As I said before the game, I'll say it after the game and probably in five years I'll say the same," he said. "He's the best player in the league and he does it every night." You can not see players like him often. "
John Wall of Washington looked more like his speedy All-Star in his third leg after knee surgery, scoring 28 points with 14 assists. But it had an expensive turnover in the final seconds and the Wizards could not keep the Cavs in the final stretch.
Bradley Beal added 19 points, and Otto Porter had 18 for Washington.
A basket by Markieff Morris gave the Wizards a 110-100 lead with 3:16 left, but James hit six in a row, fed Green for the plate and Rodney Hood made two free throws to complete a run. 10-0 of the Cavs. . Morris then converted a three-point play, but Cleveland's Kyle Korver dropped a 3 in front of the Washington bench, from almost the same spot where he lost a big 3 in Game 3 of the Finals last year.
"Yes, it was very open and the ball was in the perfect pocket," Korver said. "I have to line up and shoot."
Green's two free throws – in a tough decision against Wall, which appeared to be clean steal – gave the Cavs a 116-115 lead, but after Walls missed a shot in a short, James split a shots, giving Washington one last chance.
Wall managed the lane, but instead of going to the basket, tried a pass out of reach that was stolen by rookie Cedi Osman, who made two free throws to close it.
"I already knew in the play that I was not going to receive the call, why did I even put myself in that position?" Said Wall. "I tried to find a teammate for an open shot, you give credit to that guy for making a great defensive stop."
The Wizards remained in seventh place, interspersed between the Heat and Bucks, who lost at home to Brooklyn.
Lue returned to a familiar situation as the Cavs, who have suffered injuries for months, were losing to the bases José Calderón (hamstring) and George Hill (ankle).
Wizards: Brooks said Wall will not play Friday night. He has not played a consecutive game since he returned. … Wall lost weight during his recovery, and coach Scott Brooks said that should help the All-Star in the future. "It's going to be good for his long-term recovery," Brooks said. "It's good for him." It's good for us. It just needs a few repetitions. "
Cavaliers: They won their eighth straight game at home. … James has scored 30 points in 429 games, tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for fifth place in league history. … Osman is the seventh starting point guard different for Cleveland, which due to injuries has had 29 starting lineups. … I was sorry to hear that Celtics guard Kyrie Irving will miss the playoffs. Irving had a great race with Cleveland and will be remembered forever for his triple-up lead in the final minutes of Game 7 in the 2016 finals. "It was a big part of what we did here, a big part of winning the championship and, although he's on another team, you still do not want to see anyone go through that, "said Lue.
Wizards: receives Atlanta on Friday night.
Cavaliers: in Philadelphia on Friday night.