LeBron, surging Cavs take down Thunder
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LeBron James scored 37 points as the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-112 on Tuesday night.
James shot 14-of-23 from the field and added eight assists and eight rebounds. It was his 417th career 30-point game and fifth with at least 35 points this season.
J.R. Smith hit six three-pointers and added 18 points for the Cavaliers, who won their fourth straight.
Cleveland received productive showings from its new acquisitions who were making their second appearance with the team: Rodney Hood (14 points), Jordan Clarkson (14 points), Larry Nance Jr. (13 points, nine rebounds) and George Hill (seven points).
Paul George led the Thunder with 25 points. Carmelo Anthony, back after missing two games with a sprained right ankle, added 24. Steven Adams contributed 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook returned from missing two games with a sprained left ankle to total 21 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds.
Rockets 126, Timberwolves 108
Ryan Anderson buried four three-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Houston continued the barrage from behind the arc in a victory at Minnesota, extending its winning streak to nine games.
Anderson scored 12 of his 21 points in the final frame and was the ignition for a Rockets offense that hit 10 three-pointers in the fourth en route to a 42-point period. James Harden paced the Rockets with 34 points and 12 assists, drilling 6-of-10 treys, as did Anderson.
The Timberwolves lost at Target Center for the first time since December 16, ending their 13-game home winning streak.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 35 points and 12 rebounds, while Jeff Teague added 25 points and eight assists.
Raptors 115, Heat 112
DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and Kyle Lowry added 22 points and eight assists as Toronto defeated visiting Miami for its sixth consecutive victory.
A Wayne Ellington three-pointer with 6.6 seconds left cut Toronto’s lead to 114-112. C.J. Miles made one free throw, and Miami’s Josh Richardson raced up the court, missing a three-pointer off the back iron that would have sent the game to overtime.
Goran Dragic led the Heat with 28 points. Dwyane Wade, in his second game back with Miami, produced 10 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
Nuggets 117, Spurs 109
Nikola Jokic amassed 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists to record his fourth triple-double of the season while leading host Denver past slumping San Antonio.
Barton had 20 points for the Nuggets while Wilson Chandler and Jamal Murray scored 17 each.
Gary Harris scored seven points down the stretch as part of his 15 points for the game, and Trey Lyles added 11. It was Denver’s first win over the Spurs in three meetings this year, as the Nuggets to snap a five-game losing streak to San Antonio.
San Antonio, with leading scorer and rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge missing the game due to a sore knee, lost its third consecutive contest and fifth in the past six outings. The Spurs got a careerhigh 26 points and 11 rebounds from Joffrey Lauvergne plus 17 points from Tony Parker.
Bucks 97, Hawks 92
Khris Middleton scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half as Milwaukee overcame a slow start to beat visiting Atlanta.
Middleton hit 7-of-15 shots, grabbed seven rebounds and finished with three steals. Teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo also shook off a cold start, making 4-of-6 shots in the second half and finishing with 15 points, 15 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 18 points, and Kent Bazemore made four three-pointers to finish with 17 points. Atlanta’s Dewayne Dedmon contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Kings 114, Mavericks 109
Zach Randolph scored 11 of his gamehigh 22 points while Sacramento was running up a 14-point lead in the first quarter, paving the way to a win at Dallas.
The Kings went on to lead by as many as 26 points in the third period en route to a fourth win in their past six road games. The victory was the Kings’ second in three meetings with the Mavericks this season.
J.J. Barea had a 19-point, 13-assist double-double for Dallas, which joined Atlanta and Phoenix as the NBA’s first three 40-game losers.
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES guard Andrew Wiggins (22) has his shot blocked by Houston Rockets defender Luc Mbah a Moute (12) in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ 126-108 road victory over the T’Wolves, a result that gave Houston its ninth win in a row.