Cavaliers Cruise Past Pistons
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND — LeBron James scored 31 points before taking a seat on the bench, Larry Nance Jr. reached career highs with 22 points and 15 rebounds in his first start for Cleveland, and the Cavaliers closed a disappointing five-game homestand on a positive note with a 112-90 win Monday night over the Detroit Pistons, who haven’t won on the road in nearly two months.
With Cleveland missing three big men — All-Star Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Jeff Green — because of injuries, the Cavs needed someone to step up and Nance came through. Wearing the same No. 22 his father had retired by Cleveland, the 25-year-old Nance had the best game of his young career.
James was his usual brilliant self, making 5 of 7 3-pointers and adding seven rebounds and seven assists. With the Cavs comfortably ahead, James sat the entire fourth quarter, a rarity in this odd season.
Blake Griffin scored 25 to lead Detroit, which has lost nine straight away from home. The Pistons haven’t won on the road since Jan. 10. Andre Drummond scored 15 but didn’t reach double-digit rebounds for the first time in 19 games.
CELTICS 105, BULLS 89
CHICAGO (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 21 points and Boston pounded Chicago even though Kyrie Irving sat out because of a sore left knee.
Even without their All-Star guard, the Celtics took control right from the start and led by as many as 37 en route to their fifth win in six games.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tony Parker had 23 points, sparking San Antonio to a needed victory over Memphis before embarking on a difficult road trip.
Memphis has lost 14 straight, but San Antonio’s recent skid has had a greater impact on the Western Conference playoff picture.
The Spurs had dropped eight of 10 and fallen from third to sixth in the crowded West, putting them at risk of missing the postseason for the first time in 21 years.
HEAT 125, SUNS 103
MIAMI (AP) — Hassan Whiteside had 24 points and 14 rebounds, Goran Dragic scored 17 and Miami moved into the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference by topping Phoenix.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic tied his season high with 29 points and grabbed a key jump ball late to lift Indiana over Milwaukee.
Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton stole Victor Oladipo’s pass with 10 seconds left and Indiana leading 90-89. He rushed to the basket, but Cory Joseph chased him down and got a hand on the basketball before Middleton could attempt a shot. The ball rolled out of bounds, and referees called a jump ball after video replay. Bogdanovic came down with the tip off the jump ball and added a pair of free throws with six seconds left.
Thaddeus Young had 10 points and seven rebounds, and Oladipo finished with 14 points, five assists and five rebounds along with 10 turnovers.