LeBron’s triple-double lifts Cavs over Nets
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James scored 31 points and finished a month averaging a triple-double for the first time in his career, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Brooklyn Nets 129-123 on Tuesday night.
James had 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his 12th triple-double of the season and 67th of his career. He also reached 8,000 assists and became the first player in NBA history to reach that milestone, along with 30,000 points and 8,000 rebounds.
Rodney Hood’s three-point play with 40 seconds remaining gave Cleveland a 123-121 lead. James and George Hill hit two free throws each in the final 16 seconds to seal the win.
Jarrett Allen’s two free throws gave Brooklyn a 119-117 lead with 1:18 to play. Jordan Clarkson’s 3-pointer put Cleveland ahead, but Allen Crabbe’s runner in the lane put the Nets up 121-120.
Hood hit a jumper from the wing and made the foul shot that gave Cleveland a two-point lead. D’Angelo Russell attempted to draw a foul but barely got off a wild shot from the corner, which led to James’ foul shots.
HEAT 102, 76ERS 101
MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 27 points, the last of those coming on a jumper that gave Miami its only lead of the fourth quarter with 5.9 seconds left, and the Heat rallied to beat the 76ers.
Wade had 15 of his points in the fourth quarter, and the Heat won a game where they never led by more than three.
Goran Dragic scored 21 for the Heat, who got 16 points from Tyler Johnson and 15 points and 11 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside.
Joel Embiid scored 23 points for Philadelphia, which got 21 from Dario Saric. The 76ers led by as many as 10 in the fourth and had a chance to win at the buzzer, but JJ Redick’s wide-open 3-point try bounced off the rim.
Redick finished with 15 for the 76ers.
HORNETS 118, BULLS 103
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 31 points and Dwight Howard added 24 after returning from a first-quarter back injury as the Hornets knocked off the Bulls to win their season-best fifth game in a row.
Zach LaVine led seven Bulls players in double-digits with 21 points as Chicago (20-41) dropped its fifth consecutive game.
The Hornets improved to 28-33 as their suddenly hot shooting helped them continue their push to make the playoffs. In all, Charlotte sank 53.7 percent of its field-goal attempts, and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.
Walker hit 11-of-19 attempts -- including 6-of-10 of 3-pointers -- while Howard missed only two shots in 12 attempts. Nicolas Batum also added 10 points, 12 assist and seven rebounds.
WIZARDS 107, BUCKS 104
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 21 points, hitting a clutch 3-pointer and a free throw down the stretch, to help the Wizards hang on for a victory over the Bucks.
Otto Porter Jr. added 17 points and Markieff Morris 14 for Washington which stayed hot after snapping the Philadelphia 76ers’ seven-game winning streak Sunday with a 109-94 victory.
The Bucks lost a chance at clinching the season series with the Wizards who hold the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington improved to 2 1/2 games ahead of the sixth-place Bucks. The road team won both games of the series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Jabbari Parker had a season-high 19 points for Milwaukee.
CLIPPERS 122, NUGGETS 120
DENVER (AP) — Lou Williams scored 25 points and Boban Marjanovic added a season-high 18 as the Clippers overcame a 19-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Nuggets.
Austin Rivers added 17 points and Montrezl Harrell had 15 for the Clippers, whose bench outscored Denver’s reserves 54-4 in the second half.
Gary Harris had 23 points to lead the Nuggets, who lost consecutive games at home for the first time this season. Paul Millsap had nine points and seven rebounds in 23:26 minutes of play in his return from a left wrist injury that had sidelined him for the last three months.
Leading by six at the half, the Nuggets stretched their lead to 19 points on a layup by Harris but the Clippers fought back to within seven points going into the fourth quarter, outscoring the Nuggets 18-6 over the last 4 1-2 minutes of the third.
TRAIL BLAZERS 116, KINGS 99
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 26 points and 12 assists, and the Trail Blazers won their fourth straight with a victory over the Kings.
Jusuf Nurkic added 17 points and nine rebounds for Portland, which sits in fifth place in the Western Conference — a game back of San Antonio — after winning five of its last six games. The current four-game winning streak matched the team’s longest of the season.
Zach Randolph had 20 points for the Kings, who lost their fifth straight overall. Sacramento has dropped 10 straight games at Portland’s Moda Center.
With just 18 wins, Sacramento is in second-to-last place in the West, above only the Phoenix Suns. The Kings have lost four straight and six of their last seven.
The Kings were playing the second of a back-to-back, after losing to Minnesota 118-100 on Monday night. Randolph sat out that game but returned against the Blazers. Randolph played six seasons in Portland.