James ex­plodes for 44 pts as Cavs top­ple Hor­nets

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LeBron James scored 17 of his sea­son-high 44 points in the fourth quar­ter and reached an­other ca­reer mile­stone as the Cleve­land Cavaliers won their fourth straight, 116 -105 over the Char­lotte Hor­nets in the NBA on Saturday. James did it all, adding 10 as­sists and nine re­bounds in 43 min­utes. He took over in the fourth, scor­ing 13 straight dur­ing one stretch to help the Cavs hold on. James, who moved into ninth place on the ca­reer scor­ing list Fri­day, recorded his 7,000th assist in the first half, be­com­ing the first front­court player in NBA his­tory to reach the plateau. James is the only player with 27,000 points and 7,000 as­sists. Cleve­land shot a sea­son-best 58 per­cent from the field and beat Char­lotte for the sixth straight time at home. Kemba Walker scored 24 to pace the Hor­nets, play­ing the first of five con­sec­u­tive road games.


Marc Ga­sol and Tony Allen scored 19 points each, and Mem­phis rolled over Golden State for its sixth straight win. The Griz­zlies led by as many as 30 points in the sec­ond half - the big­gest ad­van­tage for any War­riors op­po­nent this sea­son. Seven Mem­phis play­ers fin­ished in dou­ble fig­ures. Kevin Du­rant led Golden State with 21 points, and Stephen Curry added 17. Curry and back­court mate Klay Thompson (eight points) were a com­bined 8 of 28 from the field, in­clud­ing 3 of 14 out­side the arc. Golden State’s four-game win­ning streak ended. The War­riors had won 16 of 17, the lone loss in that stretch com­ing in dou­ble over­time to Hous­ton on Dec. 1.

BULLS 105, HEAT 100

Jimmy But­ler scored 31 points, Dwyane Wade added 28 against his for­mer team and Chicago held off strug­gling Mi­ami. But­ler scored Chicago’s fi­nal 10 points to help the Bulls come out on top af­ter Mi­ami pulled within one. Wade keyed a big third-quar­ter run in his sec­ond game against the Heat, and the Bulls hung on af­ter hand­ing San An­to­nio its first road loss two nights ear­lier. Go­ran Dragic led Mi­ami with 21 points and 11 as­sists. An en­er­getic Hassan White­side added 20 points af­ter be­ing benched for part of Fri­day’s blowout loss in Cleve­land. Tyler John­son scored 15, but the Heat dropped their fifth straight.


Chris Paul had 20 points and a sea­son-high 20 as­sists, and Los Angeles beat New Or­leans with its high­est of­fen­sive out­put of the sea­son. It was the first 20-20 game of Paul’s ca­reer, and he be­came the first player since at least 1977-78 - when turnovers were first recorded for in­di­vid­ual play­ers to have 20 points, 20 as­sists and no turnovers, ac­cord­ing to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Clip­pers shot a sea­son-best 57.4 per­cent and made a sea­son-high 17 3-point­ers on 36 at­tempts to end a two-game skid. Ja­mal Craw­ford scored 22 points and DeAn­dre Jor­dan had 19 points and nine re­bounds for Los Angeles, which won for the third time in eight games af­ter open­ing 14-2. The Pel­i­cans, play­ing with­out a resting An­thony Davis, lost their fifth straight. New Or­leans gave up its sea­son high in points and fell to 2-9 away from home.


James Har­den had 18 points, 16 as­sists and nine re­bounds as Hous­ton beat Dal­las for its sixth straight vic­tory. Eric Gor­don added 18 points and Trevor Ariza scored 17 to give the Rock­ets their first six-game win­ning streak since Oct. 28 to Nov. 6, 2014. Pa­trick Bev­er­ley scored all 15 of his points in the fourth quar­ter. Wes­ley Matthews had 26 points to lead the Mavericks.

SPURS 130, NETS 101

Kawhi Leonard had 30 points in three quar­ters and San An­to­nio re­bounded from its first road loss of the sea­son with a home romp over Brook­lyn. Five other San An­to­nio play­ers scored in dou­ble fig­ures, led by 16 points from Patty Mills. The Spurs set sea­son highs for points, points in a quar­ter, points in a half, as­sists and 3point­ers in win­ning their 14th straight at home over the Nets. San An­to­nio also matched its largest mar­gin of vic­tory, set in a sea­son-open­ing win over Golden State. The Spurs led by as many as 38 three days af­ter what coach Gregg Popovich deemed a poor ef­fort in a 95-91 de­feat at Chicago.

JAZZ 104, KINGS 84

Rudy Gobert had 17 points, 14 re­bounds and a sea­son-high six blocks, help­ing Utah over­come a flood of turnovers to beat Sacra­mento. Gor­don Hay­ward scored 26 points af­ter sit­ting out a game with an in­jured fin­ger, and Trey Lyles added 14 points and five re­bounds for the Jazz. Utah had 22 turnovers but won for the eighth time in 10 games. Rudy Gay scored 20 points and DeMar­cus Cousins had 16 points and 10 re­bounds for the Kings, who lost for the sev­enth time in nine games.


John Wall had 24 points and 11 as­sists, Bradley Beal scored 20 and Wash­ing­ton used a late 11-0 run to beat Mil­wau­kee. Kelly Oubre Jr. added a ca­reer-high 19 points for the Wizards, who have won three of four. Gian­nis An­te­tok­oun­mpo led Mil­wau­kee with 28 points and 13 re­bounds. His two free throws gave the Bucks a 100-95 lead with 4:28 left, but the Wizards ral­lied while Mil­wau­kee went cold. Wall scored nine points in the fourth quar­ter. The Bucks, who com­mit­ted 20 turnovers, have lost three of four.


Danilo Gal­li­nari scored 21 points, and Ken­neth Faried had 19 points and 10 re­bounds off the bench to help Den­ver de­feat Or­lando. Jusuf Nur­kic added 17 points on 8-of-11 shoot­ing and grabbed eight re­bounds for the Nuggets, who lost their pre­vi­ous two games. Will Barton scored 16. The Nuggets outscored short-handed Or­lando 64-34 in the paint. Magic cen­ter Nikola Vuce­vic did not suit up be­cause of an in­jury. Evan Fournier led Or­lando with 24 points. Serge Ibaka had 22 points and four blocked­shots.


Paul Ge­orge scored a sea­son-high 37 points and In­di­ana ral­lied past Port­land af­ter trail­ing by 20. Ge­orge made five 3-point­ers and Thad­deus Young hit six 3s while putting up 24 points and nine re­bounds. Myles Turner added 14 points for the Pac­ers, who had lost five straight reg­u­lar-sea­son games to Port­land. C.J. McCol­lum drained a ca­reer-high seven 3s and had a sea­son-best 34 points for the Trail Blaz­ers. Damian Lil­lard scored 33 points, in­clud­ing five 3s. Ge­orge scored 13 straight points in the fourth quar­ter for In­di­ana. He was fouled on the go-ahead bas­ket with 4:36 re­main­ing and com­pleted the three­p­oint play to give the Pac­ers a 108105 lead.

— AP

CLEVE­LAND: Cleve­land Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith (5) drives around Char­lotte Hor­nets’ Marco Be­linelli (21) dur­ing the first half of an NBA bas­ket­ball game Saturday, in Cleve­land.

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