James moves into 9th on NBA scoring list as Cavs top Heat
P LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday. James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd. Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off. Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs. They have won three straight after losing three in a row. Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat. They have lost four straight.
ROCKETS 102, THUNDER 99
James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook’s seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99. Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden’s 6-for-23 shooting effort. Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia’s Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968. It was Westbrook’s 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA’s active leader in the category and ranks sixth overall. The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook’s triple-double binge.
RAPTORS 101, CELTICS 94
Kyle Lowry scored 21 of his season-high 34 points in the second half for Toronto. Toronto erased an eight-point halftime deficit and led by as many as 11 in the fourth quarter. Boston pulled within four in the final minute, but Al Horford fouled Lowry on a 3-point attempt with 30 seconds to play. Lowry made all three free throws to help close out the victory. DeMar DeRozan added 24 points, and Norman Powell had 20. Horford and Avery Bradley each had 19 points to lead Boston. Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas sat out his second straight game with a strained right groin.
PISTONS 117, TIMBERWOLVES 90
Andre Drummond had 22 points and 22 rebounds for his second straight 20-20 game and Detroit cruised past Minnesota. Marcus Morris had 15 points and seven rebounds and the Pistons had their way with Minnesota’s struggling defense, hitting 14 of 29 3-pointers. Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points and KarlAnthony Towns had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolves. They have lost seven of their last eight games.
MAVERICKS 111, PACERS 103
Wesley Matthews matched a season high with 26 points, Harrison Barnes had 25 and Dallas beat Indiana for just its third win in 15 games. Two nights after a listless second half in a 31-point home loss to Sacramento prompted a team meeting, the Mavericks started the third quarter with a 10-2 run that gave them a double-digit lead. Matthews outscored the Pacers by himself during a 32-11 spurt that turned a 5042 deficit into a 74-61 lead. The shooting guard had 16 points during the run, capped by a 3pointer. Paul George had 22 points for the Pacers.
HAWKS 114, BUCKS 110
Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and Atlanta rallied from 20 down in the second half to beat Milwaukee. Paul Millsap added 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 points. The Hawks ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday night with a win over Miami. Jabari Parker scored 27 points for Milwaukee.
HORNETS 109, MAGIC 88
Nic Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist each had 16 points, and Charlotte routed Orlando for its third straight victory. Kemba Walker had 15 points in limited action, and Ramon Sessions and Jeremy Lamb each scored 12 off the bench. Batum missed out on a chance at a triple-double because Charlotte’s starters didn’t play in the fourth quarter with the game out of hand. He had nine rebounds and seven assists. Evan Fournier had 14 points for Orlando.
SUNS 119, LAKERS 115
Eric Bledsoe had 30 points and nine assists, Leandro Barbosa added 21 points and Phoenix ended its three-game losing streak with a victory over slumping Los Angeles. Devin Booker had 15 points before fouling out for the Suns, who hit a season-high 13 3-pointers and withstood a late rally by the short-handed Lakers. Lou Williams hit six 3-pointers and scored 35 points in another monster game off the bench for the Lakers, who have lost five straight after a promising start to their first season since Kobe Bryant retired. Los Angeles has faltered during a busy portion of its December schedule while playing without four injured regulars: D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, Tarik Black and Jose Calderon. Alex Len had 14 points and 13 rebounds, but the Suns blew most of an 18-point lead in the second half. Phoenix hung on for just its seventh victory of the season after losing five of its previous six.
KNICKS 103, KINGS 100
Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points, including two free throws with 14.8 seconds remaining, and New York held on to beat Sacramento for its fifth victory in six games. Kristaps Porzingis added 17 points and 10 rebounds for New York. Brandon Jennings scored 13 in place of injured Derrick Rose, and the Knicks beat the Kings for the second time in six days. The Kings missed multiple shots in the waning moments, including an uncontested driving layup by DeMarcus Cousins with 22 seconds left that would have given Sacramento the lead. Rudy Gay missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds remaining, and Cousins also missed a desperation heave from beyond midcourt that hit the rim at the buzzer. Cousins finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. —AP
CLEVELAND: Miami Heat’s Derrick Williams, right, passes around Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, in Cleveland. — AP