The Denver Post - - SPORTS - The As­so­ci­ated Press

cleveland» Kyrie Irv­ing scored 32 points and made two crit­i­cal layups be­fore leav­ing with a leg in­jury and Kevin Love scored 30, help­ing the de­fend­ing cham­pion Cava­liers hold off a late rally for a 124-118 win over the Celtics on Thurs­day night.

The Cavs led by 20 points in the third quar­ter and by 17 early in the fourth but couldn’t close out the Celtics, who pulled within one point three times dur­ing the fi­nal two min­utes.

Irv­ing, though, came up with his big bas­kets and the Cavs had to fend off Bos­ton over the fi­nal 53 sec­onds as their star guard grabbed his right ham­string and went to the bench.

LeBron James had 23 points and 11 as­sists for the Cavs, who won for the 11th time in 13 games.


Ni­co­las Ba­tum had 16 points, 13 re­bounds and eight as­sists, pro­vid­ing a spark dur­ing a big third quar­ter that car­ried the Hor­nets to a 91-82 vic­tory over the Heat. … Marc Ga­sol scored 25 points and the Griz­zlies took ad­van­tage of Russell West­brook’s ejec­tion, dom­i­nat­ing the Thunder for a 114-80 vic­tory. …Eric Bled­soe scored 22 points and Devin Booker had nine of his 19 in the fourth quar­ter, help­ing the Suns beat the Rap­tors 99-91. …Ge­orge Hill had 21 points in his re­turn to the lineup af­ter miss­ing 13 games with a sprained toe, and the Jazz blitzed the 76ers to win 100-83.


Bucks’ arena reaches mile­stone. The Bucks’ new arena in Mil­wau­kee reached a mile­stone in con­struc­tion. Work­ers poured the first con­crete slab on the metal deck that will make up the con­course. The arena is just north of the Bucks’ cur­rent home, the Bradley Cen­ter. The arena is ex­pected to be ready for the start of the 2018-19 sea­son.

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