James helps Cavaliers rally past Magic 98-89
ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — LeBron James had 29 points and eight assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied to beat the Orlando Magic 98-89 in the NBA on Friday night.
Kevin Love scored 22 points and reserve Dion Waiters added 17 for Cleveland, which bounced back from a 101-91 loss at Miami on Christmas. Tristan Thompson grabbed 13 rebounds.
The Cavaliers played without point guard Kyrie Irving, who was sidelined by a bruised knee.
Tobias Harris led Orlando with 16 points. Nik Vucevic had 12 points, seven assists and eight rebounds, and reserve Evan Fournier scored 15 as the Magic lost for the fifth time in the last six games.
Vucevic’s dunk with 1:58 left got Orlando within three, but the Magic were unable to score again.
James converted a three-point play with 40.7 seconds remaining, and then hit three foul shots to help close it out.
Reserve forward Jared Dudley made all 10 shots, including four 3-pointers, and scored a season-high 24 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 107-77 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Brandon Knight added 16 points for Milwaukee, which ended Atlanta’s five-game winning streak.
The Hawks had won 14 of 15 but were routed in front of a rare sellout crowd at home, where they entered with a 13-2 record that was the best in the Eastern Conference.
After Dudley made back-to-back 3-pointers for a 21-18 Milwaukee lead with 2:51 left in the first quarter, the Bucks led the rest of the way and went ahead by 30 in the final period.
Russell Westbrook scored 29 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 98-75 victory over Charlotte.
Charlotte scored the game’s first basket then the Thunder reeled off nine straight points to take a lead they never relinquished in winning for the second straight day.
Westbrook scored 13 points in the first quarter, and Oklahoma City opened a 59-40 halftime lead. Serge Ibaka added 13 points, 14 rebounds and blocked four shots for the Thunder. Neither player saw action in the final period.
Brian Roberts came off the bench to lead the Hornets with 17 points, 11 in the final period.
At Portland, Oregon, Damian Lillard had 28 points and nine assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-93 for its seventh win in the last eight games.
Lillard, who had scored at least 40 points in two of Portland’s previous three games, had 19 second-half points for the Blazers. Wesley Matthews went 7 of 14 from 3-point range and finished with 25 points.
Joel Freeland pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds, most by a Blazer this season.
Tony Wroten, who missed Philadelphia’s last game with a right knee sprain, came off the bench to score 22 points. Michael Carter-Williams had 17 points and K.J. McDaniels finished with 12 for the 76ers.
Anthony Davis had 22 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, leading the New Orleans Pelicans to a 97-90 victory over the slumping San Antonio Spurs, and Marcus Morris had 20 points and nine rebounds as the Phoenix Suns outlasted the Sacramento Kings 115-106.
The Detroit Pistons ended a four-game slide with a 119-109 victory over the Indiana Pacers, the Houston Rockets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 117-111 in overtime, the Brooklyn Nets edged the Boston Celtics 109-107 and the Dallas Mavericks topped the Los Angeles Lakers 102-98.