LeBron, Nance power Cavaliers past Pistons 112-90
CLEVELAND (AP) — 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.
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.
Jayson Tatum added 14 points, while Al Horford and Terry Rozier scored 13 apiece for Boston.
The Bulls lost for the 14th time in 17 games. Denzel Valentine scored 20 points and nailed four 3-pointers for Chicago, but that was about the only positive for the Bulls.
SPURS 100, GRIZZLIES 98
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.
San Antonio moved up a spot to fifth place ahead of Minnesota with the victory.
Davis Bertans added 17 points and Danny Green had 14 for the Spurs, who snapped a four-game losing streak at home.
TRAIL BLAZERS 108, LAKERS 103
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 19 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter and Portland won its 15th consecutive game over Los Angeles.
Lillard scored 15 in a row for the Trail Blazers down the stretch, giving them a 104-103 with 1:08 remaining by knowing down 1 of 2 free throws.
CJ McCollum had 22 points, and Jusuf Nurkic added 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Julius Randle had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who had their five-game winning streak ended. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16 points, and Lonzo Ball had 10 points, two rebounds and two assists.
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.
Whiteside had his highest-scoring game since Jan. 29, making 10 of his 13 shots. He averaged only 12.2 points on 48-percent shooting in his most recent 12 games.
Kelly Olynyk scored 15 points for the Heat, who gave four of their starters — Whiteside included — the entire fourth quarter off and beat the Suns for the 18th time in their last 20 meetings.
Dwyane Wade, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow and Luke Babbitt each had 12 for the Heat, which had seven players in double figures.
PACERS 92, BUCKS 89
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.
JAZZ 94, MAGIC 80
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 17 rebounds to lead Utah over Orlando.
Donovan Mitchell scored 19 points and Joe Ingles added 18 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Jazz, who have won three in a row and 15 of 17. Still, the Jazz sit 1 1/2 games outside the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Nikola Vucevic had 15 points — most coming from the perimeter outside Gobert’s reach, including three 3s — and 12 rebounds while Aaron Gordon had 13 points for the Magic.