LeBron James followed up an All-Star game MVP performance with a triple-double, but the Cleveland Cavaliers couldn't come away with a win.

The Indiana Pacers, though, should remember the superstar's previous triple-double.

Making his first start against Indiana since recording a triple-double three months ago, James leads the Cavaliers against the Pacers on Wednesday night.

Cleveland's superstar forward finished with 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, nearly joining Michael Jordan in 1997 as the only player to have a triple-double in the All-Star game, as the Eastern Conference won 134-128 on Sunday in New Orleans.

James earned his second All-Star MVP award in three years.

In the Cavaliers' first game following the break on Tuesday, they wasted a triple-double from James in a 93-85 loss to Houston. James had 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his fifth triple-double this season and 15th of his career.

"We've got to continue to just get better," James said. "The best thing about this league is we have another game (Wednesday)."

James' previous triple-double came against Indiana (21-32) on Nov. 25. He finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as Cleveland (29-24) posted a 111-106 victory.

The only game James has appeared in without starting this season was in the Cavaliers' second contest against the Pacers, a 118-105 win on Dec. 11. James had 17 points in 22 minutes after missing his previous five games with a finger injury, helping the Cavaliers extend their winning streak over the Pacers to five games.

Indiana hasn't beaten Cleveland since a 97-87 victory on Nov. 24, 2006. Two of the Cavaliers' wins during their run against the Pacers have been on the road, where they have won two straight and nine of 13 overall.

The Pacers, meanwhile, have lost six of their last seven at Conseco Fieldhouse, giving up 108.6 points per game. Indiana, which will be playing its first game since the All-Star break, has lost nine of 11 overall.

With two of their top players sidelined indefinitely, the Pacers may have a tough time making a run at a playoff spot in the East. Forward Jermaine O'Neal (knee) will miss his 14th straight game, and point guard Jamaal Tinsley (knee) will be sidelined for his fifth straight contest.

Tinsley's backup, Travis Diener (foot) is listed as day-to-day.

Indiana, in 11th place in the East, is among five teams looking to move into playoff position.

"If we get this team running on all cylinders, the playoffs are going to come," Pacers forward Danny Granger told the team's official Web site. "We've just got to put our minds to that.

"Coach (Jim O'Brien) broke it down for us and there's so many teams tightly packed in the same area. It's a race to get to those last few spots."

Indiana entered the break following one of its worst offensive performances of the season, shooting 31.6 percent from the field in a 96-80 loss to Detroit last Wednesday.

Mike Dunleavy was the Pacers' only starter to reach double figures in scoring, finishing with 11 points. Dunleavy, averaging 17.3 points per game, has not scored more than 13 in any of his last three contests.


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