James moves into 9th on NBA scor­ing list as Cavs top Heat

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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