Cavaliers 124, Nets 116
LeBron James scored 31 points, Kyrie Irving added 28 and Cleveland ended a turbulent week with a victory over Brooklyn. The NBA champions had lost three straight and six of eight while James questioned whether the organization was fully committed to winning a second title. The Cavaliers took advantage of a timely visit from the NBA’s worst team. Irving scored 20 points, and James added 10 in the third quarter when Cleveland built an 86-62 lead.
Pacers 115, Kings 111
Paul George scored 12 of Indiana’s last 16 points and finished with 33 and the Pacers overcame a 16-point third-quarter deficit to beat Sacramento. Jeff Teague had 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Indiana. The Pacers won their second straight and swept the season series with the Kings for the first time since 2013-14. DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and 16 rebounds, and Darren Collison also had 26 points for Sacramento.
Knicks 110, Hornets 107
Carmelo Anthony shook off some boos and a rough shooting night to score 18 points, Courtney Lee added 16 against his former team and New York beat Charlotte. Anthony finished 8 for 26 from the field and had just one basket in the fourth, but it was a big one, a jumper with 13 seconds left and the Knicks clinging to a two-point lead. Lee carried the Knicks, scoring nine straight New York points.
Raptors 102, Bucks 86
Kyle Lowry had 32 points, Norman Powell added 19 and Toronto snapped their longest losing streak of the season at five games with a win over Milwaukee. Still without injured star DeMar DeRozan, Toronto rolled to its seventh straight victory against the Bucks and 13th in the last 14 meetings. Jabari Parker had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 for the Bucks, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Celtics 128, Magic 98
Isaiah Thomas had 21 points and eight assists in just three quarters, extending his streak of scoring at least 20 points to 30 straight games as Boston set a season high in scoring while beating Orlando. Rookie Jaylen Brown added a career-high 20 points, Jae Crowder scored 19 and Kelly Olynyk made all seven shots he attempted, finishing with 16 points.
Rockets 123, 76ers 118
James Harden scored 51 points and added 13 rebounds and 13 assists to lead Houston to a victory over Joel Embiid and Philadelphia. Harden, who had 19 of his points in the third quarter, has at least 30 points and 10 assists in 18 games this season. The NBA’s third-leading scorer entering the game, Harden finished two points shy of tying his career high. He was 16 for 28 from the field, including 6 for 11 from 3-point range.
Heat 100, Bulls 88
Goran Dragic had 26 points and 11 assists, Willie Reed scored 20 points and Dion Waiters added 19 to lead Miami to their sixth straight win, a victory over bickering Chicago. Dwyane Wade had 15 points to lead the Bulls, who began the day with a team meeting and ended it with a second straight frustrating loss. Wade and Butler started the controversy when they questioned the desire of the team’s younger players following a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
Pelicans 119, Spurs 103
Jrue Holiday scored 23 points, Anthony Davis had 16 points and tied a career high with 22 rebounds, and New Orleans snapped San Antonio’s five-game winning streak. The Spurs had been winning lately despite having starters Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker sidelined with nagging injuries. San Antonio fell with both back on the floor. Leonard scored 23.
Wizards 112, Hawks 86
Otto Porter Jr. had 21 points and 11 rebounds, John Wall scored 19 and Washington moved within a half-game of the Southeast Division lead with an easy victory over Atlanta. Washington has won three straight and 10 of 12, improving to 20-8 since Dec. 5. Kent Bazemore scored 15 and Dwight Howard had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks, suddenly clinging to that slim lead in the Southeast.