LeBron James inspired the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 106-101 win over the Chicago Bulls in the NBA play-offs on Tuesday.

James' 38 points were key at the Quicken Loans Arena as the Cavs took a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semi-final series.

He also had 12 rebounds and six assists in a performance that included no turnovers.

Kyrie Irving provided plenty of support with 25 points, including going three-of-six from three-point range.

Tristan Thompson joined James in having a double-double thanks to 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls for scoring thanks to 29, while Derrick Rose struggled with his shooting.

Rose ended up with 16 points but they came on the back of seven-of-24 from the field.

The Bulls must win game six at the United Center on Thursday to stay alive in the play-offs.

Staying alive is exactly what the Houston Rockets managed to do thanks to a 124-103 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

James Harden's triple-double of 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists helped the Rockets get back to a 3-2 deficit in the Western Conference semi-final.

Dwight Howard (20 points and 15 rebounds) had a double-double.

Blake Griffin (30 points and 16 rebounds) and Chris Paul (22 points and 10 assists) were again the standouts for the Clippers.