James has 37, Cavs avenge loss to Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — 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 120-112 victory on Tuesday night.
It was Cleveland’s second straight win since adding George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in trades, and their fourth straight victory overall.
J.R. Smith added 18 points for the Cavaliers, who lost to the Thunder 148-124 on Jan. 20 with a very different roster.
ROCKETS 126, TIMBERWOLVES 108 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — James Harden had 34 points, 12 assists and six rebounds, and Houston beat Minnesota for its ninth straight victory.
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 for the 16 of its last 18 games. RAPTORS 115,
HEAT 112 TORONTO ( AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, Kyle Lowry had 22 and Toronto beat Miami for its sixth straight win.
Toronto (40-16) improved its NBA-best home record to 24-4 and ensured it will be the top team in the Eastern Conference at the All-Star break.
Serge Ibaka had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who also won six straight between Nov. 25 and Dec. 10 and again between Dec. 13 and 23. BUCKS 97, HAWKS 92 MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Middleton had 21 points to lead a balanced attack for Milwaukee, and All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo hit two key buckets in the final three-plus minutes.
Tyler Zeller added 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting in his first game in Milwaukee since joining the team on the road before the trade deadline last week. The Bucks improved to 9-2 since Joe Prunty took over as interim coach following the firing of Jason Kidd, getting back in the race for a top-four playoff seed in the East. NUGGETS 117,
SPURS 109 DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, Will Barton scored 20 points and the Denver Nuggets beat the struggling San Antonio Spurs 117-109 on Tuesday night.
Jokic notched his fourth triple-double of the season to lead the Nuggets to their fifth win in six games. Denver outscored the Spurs 30-19 in the fourth quarter to rally from seven down late in the third.
Joffrey Lauvergne scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Tony Parker had 17 points for San Antonio. The Spurs have lost five of six heading into their All-Star break.