After moving into eighth place in the Eastern Conference, James and the resurgent Cavaliers look to continue their postseason push as they host the Milwaukee Bucks at Gund Arena.
The Cavaliers, who were 11-51 and 12 games out of a playoff spot at this point last season, moved into a three-way tie with Miami and Toronto for eighth place with Friday’s 88-85 victory at New Orleans.
“It was a playoff atmosphere tonight and we were able to come through,” James said. “Every win we can get is a key for us, and to get a win on the road against a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference is big.”
James finished with a team-high 19 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:22 left.
“It’s one of the biggest shots I’ve made,” he said. “It was clutch. We were down by two and I just shot it with confidence.”
Jeff McInnis handed out 11 assists, and has averaged 9.2 helpers over his last five games.
The Cavs have won six of their last eight games, but have lost five in a row to the Bucks, including the two meetings at Gund Arena last season.
Milwaukee, currently fourth in the playoff race, is averaging a conference-best 98 points. The Bucks reached that mark Thursday, but lost 104-98 at Miami, ending their four-game win streak.
Keith Van Horn had 22 points and seven rebounds to lead Milwaukee, who trailed by as many as 16 points.
“We haven’t put ourselves in a hole like that in a long time,” said Bucks guard Desmond Mason. “We can’t continue to do that on the road.”
Van Horn, acquired on Feb. 15 in a three-team deal that sent forward Tim Thomas to New York, is averaging 22 points in his last four games—nearly six more than his season average.