Love, James Lead Cavs Past Bucks
CLEVELAND (AP) — Kevin Love scored a season-high 32 points, LeBron James added 30 and the Cleveland Cavaliers withstood a 40-point performance by Giannis Antetokounmpo to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 124-119 on Tuesday night.
The Cavs have been one of the NBA’s biggest surprises this season — for all the wrong reasons. But after losing five of six, they did enough to hand the Bucks their fourth straight loss and keep Cleveland fans from panicking.
Love, who was briefly hospitalized after scoring just four points in a surprising loss to Atlanta on Sunday, also had 16 rebounds. J.R. Smith found his shooting stroke and added a season-high 20 points for the Cavs.
Still a few weeks shy of his 23rd birthday, the multi-talented Antetokounmpo finished 16 of 21 from the floor. He also had nine rebounds and eight turnovers before fouling out with 18 seconds left. Malcolm Brogdon added 22 points and Khris Middleton finished with 20 for Milwaukee.
Cleveland’s start to the season has been puzzling on so many levels. Loaded with as much talent as any team in the league, the Eastern Conference champions have been beating good teams and losing to squads they should be handling.
And the issues have led to the usual scrutiny of James, who caused a stir on social media Monday night. Moments after former teammate Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics beat the Hawks for their ninth straight win, James posted a meme on his Instagram account of the kids’ cartoon character Arthur clenching fist with the caption “mood.”
It’s unclear what James meant, but Love and Smith helped him feel better about the state of the Cavs.
Mavericks 113, Wizards 99
WASHINGTON (AP) — Harrison Barnes scored 31 points, rookie Dennis Smith Jr. had 22 and the Dallas Mavericks snapped a six-game losing streak with a victory over John Wall and the Washington Wizards.
Wesley Matthews made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points for Dallas, which has won 14 of its last 15 meetings with Washington. It was just the second win on the season for the Mavericks.
Wall had 23 points and 14 assists in his return from a sprained left shoulder, but the Wizards lost for the fifth time in seven games. Otto Porter Jr. finished with 13 points.
Raptors 119, Bulls 114
TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors beat Chicago for their first three-game winning streak over the Bulls since 2009.
Kyle Lowry scored 17 points and Serge Ibaka had 16 for the Raptors, who had lost 11 straight meetings with the Bulls before the current streak began with an overtime victory on March 21. Toronto beat Chicago 117-100 on Oct. 19, the opening game of the season for both teams.
Chicago’s Bobby Portis had 21 points and 13 rebounds in his first game of the season, Robin Lopez scored 20 and Justin Holiday had 15 as Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games.
Knicks 118, Hornets 113
NEW YORK (AP) — Kristaps Porzingis scored 28 points, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:48 remaining, and the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Hornets for their third straight victory.
The Eastern Conference player of the week was held below 30 for only the third time in 10 games this season, but he delivered when it mattered, scoring seven points in the final 1:32.
Doug McDermott added a season-high 20 points off the bench and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 19 for the Knicks, who have won six of seven after an 0-3 start. New York shot 60 percent from the field to catch up and eventually pass Charlotte.
Pelicans 117, Pacers 112
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 37 points and 14 rebounds, Demarcus Cousins added 32 points and 13 boards and the New Orleans Pelicans rallied to beat the Indiana Pacers.
Davis was 14 for 18 from the field in New Orleans’ third straight win. Darius Miller scored 12 points, and Jameer Nelson had 10.
Myles Turner had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana, which has dropped three in a row. Victor Oladipo had 15 points.
Indiana led 75-61 at halftime, but the Pelicans outscored the Pacers 35-19 in the third quarter.
Spurs 120, Clippers 107
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points, and the San Antonio Spurs made a season-high 15 3-pointers to beat the Los Angeles Clippers.
San Antonio set several season-highs in capturing its third straight win.
The Spurs had a season-best 12 steals, and Danny Green, Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol all had or matched their best scoring output of the season. Green scored 24 points, Gay had 22 and Gasol added 19. The trio combined to make 11 of 15 3-pointers.
San Antonio finished 15-for-28 from beyond the arc.
The Spurs were dominant in the third quarter for the second straight game. After routing Phoenix by 21 points in the third quarter Sunday, San Antonio outscored the Clippers by 19 (40-21).
The Spurs made six 3s in the quarter, with Manu Ginobili hitting three and Green adding two. Green and Aldridge each had eight points in the third.
Aldridge, Gasol and Green all made a 3-pointer in the first five minutes as the team shot 6-for-9 on 3s to open the game.
The Clippers shot 51 percent from the field in the first half, but committed 18 turnovers.
Austin Rivers led Los Angeles with 24 points. Blake Griffin added 15 points on 4-for-13 shooting.
The Clippers played without starting small forward Danilo Gallinari for the first time this season, while the Spurs continued without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker.