James’ 37 lead Cavs past Thun­der

Iran Daily - - Sports -

Lebron James scored 37 points, and the new-look Cleve­land Cava­liers got a much dif­fer­ent re­sult this time against the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der in a 120112 vic­tory on Tues­day night.

Cleve­land claimed its se­cond straight win since adding Ge­orge Hill, Rod­ney Hood, Jor­dan Clark­son and Larry Nance Jr. in trades, and their fourth straight vic­tory over­all, The As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported.

The Cava­liers lost to the Thun­der 148-124 on Jan­uary 20 with a very dif­fer­ent ros­ter.

“It’s a change of scenery and they’re just try­ing to take ad­van­tage of it,” James said.

“For the guys that were here, we’re just try­ing to make them as com­fort­able as pos­si­ble. Make the tran­si­tion as seam­less as pos­si­ble.” Thun­der coach Billy Dono­van said the changes cre­ate a lot of prob­lems. Each of Cleve­land’s ad­di­tions made solid con­tri­bu­tions against Ok­la­homa City. Hill started at point guard and went 24 min­utes with­out a turnover. Hood and Clark­son each scored 14 points and Nance had 13 points and nine re­bounds, in­clud­ing eight of­fen­sive boards.

Holdover guard J.R. Smith added 18 points for the Cava­liers. It was Cleve­land’s se­cond straight road win against top com­pe­ti­tion — the Cava­liers rolled past Bos­ton 121-99 on Sun­day. “We’ve got to keep work­ing,” Cleve­land coach Ty­ronn Lue said. “It’s a process. You’ve got to keep play­ing well, keep get­ting bet­ter and hit that stride late.”

Paul Ge­orge scored 25 points and Carmelo An­thony 24 for the Thun­der. Steven Adams added 22 points and 17 re­bounds, and Rus­sell Westbrook scored 21 points. Westbrook and An­thony had missed the past two games with sprained an­kles.

Westbrook had 12 as­sists and seven re­bounds, but he made just 7 of 19 shots.

James scored 14 points in the first five min­utes of the third quar­ter, in­clud­ing two 3-point­ers, to give Cleve­land a 78-68 lead. He was six-for-six from the field dur­ing that stretch.

The Cava­liers took con­trol in the fourth, and a layup by James af­ter driv­ing on Ge­orge pushed the Cava­liers ahead 115-106 with 49 sec­onds to play.

The Cava­liers are av­er­ag­ing 126 points dur­ing their four-game win streak and have scored at least 120 points in each game.

Three-point rock­ects

The Hous­ton Rock­ets hit 10 three-point­ers in the fourth quar­ter to pull away for a 126-108 vic­tory over Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves on Tues­day night, ex­tend­ing their win­ning streak to nine.

“I knew we were mak­ing our shots, but that fourth quar­ter, that’s what we’re ca­pa­ble of,” said Rock­ets guard James Har­den.

“I think it was a four-point game and we went on a 12-0. That’s how fast it was.”

Har­den had 34 points, 12 as­sists and six re­bounds. Ryan An­der­son scored 21 points off the bench as the Rock­ets (43-13) snapped Min­nesota’s 13-game home win­ning streak and pulled within a half-game of the Golden State War­riors for the best record in the NBA. Hous­ton has won 16 of its last 18 games.

Karl-an­thony Towns had 35 points and 12 re­bounds in Min­nesota’s first home loss since De­cem­ber 16 against Phoenix. Jeff Teague added 25 points and eight as­sists, and Ja­mal Craw­ford came off the bench to score 11 points af­ter start­ing 0 for 6 from the floor.

Hous­ton used 3-point­ers to keep Min­nesota at bay through­out the game and then to pull away late. An­der­son scored 12 in the fourth quar­ter, all from three-point range.

“Tonight they played a big lineup so we wanted to take ad­van­tage of our switches and our mis­matches, and we did that,” An­der­son said.

The Tim­ber­wolves trailed just 95-91, but Hous­ton hit four straight three­p­oint­ers to take a 107-91 lead in a span of just over two min­utes.

Min­nesota was just six of 23 from deep. Har­den and An­der­son each hit as many shots from be­hind the arc as the Wolves did as a team.

Tim­ber­wolves for­ward An­drew Wig­gins missed his first 12 field goal at­tempts. Wig­gins en­tered Tues­day’s game shoot­ing 55.6 per­cent in his pre­vi­ous four games. He fin­ished two for 14.

SUE OGROCKI/AP Cleve­land Cava­liers for­ward Lebron James (L) is fouled by Thun­der guard Alex Abrines as he shoots dur­ing the first half of an NBA game in Ok­la­homa City on Fe­bru­ary 13, 2018.

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