CLEVELAND -- The Cavaliers were down three of their top guards, and they were down by double figures twice to the hottest team in the league. However, Cleveland was at home, and it had LeBron James, a combination that almost always results in a victory.
The superstar forward scored 33 points and fell one rebound shy of his first triple-double of the season, and the Cavaliers beat Oklahoma City 104-100 Thursday, ending the Thunder's six-game winning streak.
The game included a scary moment involving PGA golfer Jason Day and his wife, Ellie.
James was chasing a loose ball with five minutes left in the game when he crashed into Ellie Day's courtside seat. Play temporarily continued while she was tended to, but James went to check on her during a stoppage in play. The game ultimately was delayed for about three minutes while a medical team strapped her to a backboard and wheeled her out of the arena.
Ellie Day was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center near the arena, but no official update was given. James was told after the game, however, she was doing fine.
"For me, obviously, her health is very important," James said. "Going for a loose ball, just trying to keep a possession going and hate that was the end result of it."
Ellie Day grew up in Ohio, and the Day family attended multiple Cavs games recently, including a Finals game last June. Cavs guard J.R. Smith famously bought the Days' son, Dash, cotton candy during a preseason game in Columbus in October. James, who has gone into the stands plenty of times chasing loose balls, doesn't have a relationship with the Days.
"It wasn't anything unusual (except) obviously the end result of it," James said.
The NBA cleaned up the baseline prior to this season, removing a number of photographers and creating additional escape lanes for players. However, fans still line both sidelines -- Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was about 50 feet away from the Days on the same sideline.
Cavs coach David Blatt said he has long been concerned about the close proximity of the fans to the court.
"When you're talking about players of this speed and physicality and effort level, it's not a simple thing," Blatt said. "The powers that be are the ones that really need to decide how to deal with that. He made an honest attempt at the basketball obviously, and we all hope she's OK."
James said he has no issues with the fans sitting so close and believes injuries like that are rare.
"I think it's a great experience for our fans," James said. "That doesn't happen much. It's unfortunate it happened tonight, but it doesn't happen much. Our fans are why our game is so great. Sitting courtside is all part of the game. If I was a fan, I'd love to sit courtside."
The late-game scene overshadowed a terrific showdown between James and Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant.
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had 27 points and 10 assists, while Durant scored 25 points, but both stars missed potential game-tying 3-pointers in the final 10 seconds.
Oklahoma City led by 12 points in the second quarter before the Cavs scored 18 straight to take the lead. Forward Serge Ibaka's 3-pointer with 5:44 left in the third again put the Thunder up 69-58, but they couldn't hold it.
"We relaxed," Durant said. "We missed some shots and they came back. It's frustrating. Of course, we want to win. We always end up being up 10 points, and in the fourth quarter we don't start off so well. We dig ourselves a hole and have to fight back. We just have to be better."
Cavs center Tristan Thompson had 12 points and 15 rebounds, including 11 offensive rebounds. Forward Kevin Love didn't make much of an impact until the fourth quarter, when his rare four-point play tied the game at 78 and his full-court, football style pass to James led to a three-point play that gave Cleveland an 81-78 lead.
Love jogged to the sideline after completing the pass and slapped hands with Manziel. He finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
"You could sense that part of the game plan was to keep the ball out of my hands and slow me down," Love said. "Tried to stay with it. All it takes is one good quarter sometimes, so I had to keep my mind in it."
The Thunder was playing the second night of a back-to-back after a blowout home win Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers, while the Cavs were without three of their top guards: Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert and Mo Williams.
Shumpert sat with a groin injury sustained during Tuesday's win at the Boston Celtics, while Williams sprained his thumb in the same game. Earlier in the week, there was thought to be a chance Irving could make his season debut against the Thunder, but it remains likely he will return Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Cavs improved to 11-1 at home this season and 31-2 in their past 33 games at Quicken Loans Arena.
"To play without three significant guards, you gotta have a guy like LeBron in order to beat a team like Oklahoma City," Blatt said. "That's the best way I can put it, and he did it once again."
NOTES: Cavs G Iman Shumpert, who did not play because of a groin injury, delivered his daughter early Wednesday morning in the bathroom floor of his house. His fiancee, Teyana Taylor, wrote on her Instagram account that she didn't know she was in labor until she felt the baby's head. Shumpert tied headphones around the umbilical cord until paramedics arrived. The couple named their daughter Iman Tayla Shumpert Jr. ... Thunder coach Billy Donovan first saw Cavs F LeBron James play on the AAU circuit prior to James' junior year of high school. "Clearly he was, by far, the best player in the country, never mind on his AAU team," Donovan said. ... Thunder G Anthony Morrow missed the game due to a personal matter.