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Best of NBA: Kevin Love's monster night keeps Cavaliers' streak rolling

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Best of NBA: Kevin Love's monster night keeps Cavaliers' streak rolling

CLEVELAND -- Kevin Love scored 32 of his 38 points in the first half, LeBron James was ejected for the first time in his career and the Cleveland Cavaliers extended their longest winning streak since 2015 to nine games by downing the Miami Heat 108-97 on Tuesday night.

Love had his way with every defender Miami put on him, finishing 10 of 16 from the field and 14 of 17 on free throws. He scored 22 in the first quarter and the Cavs opened a 27-point lead before halftime.

James added 21 points before he was slapped with two technical fouls by referee Ken Fitzgerald and tossed with 1:59 left in the third quarter and the Cavs leading by 23. It was the first time James was thrown out in 1,082 career games.

Dwyane Wade added 17 points for Cleveland, which has shaken off a slow start and is again playing like the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.

Dion Waiters scored 21 and Bam Adebayo had 19 for the Heat, who had won three in a row. Goran Dragic finished with just seven points -- 12 below his team-leading scoring average (see full recap).

Porter’s late jumper lifts Wizards to win
MINNEAPOLIS -- Otto Porter Jr. hit a 22-foot jumper with 25 seconds remaining to lift the Washington Wizards to a 92-89 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Washington trailed for nearly the entire fourth quarter. After Porter's jumper, Minnesota had two shots at the other end but couldn't convert.

The Wizards got the ball back with 4.2 seconds remaining when the ball went out of bounds off Timberwolves forward Taj Gibson. Officials originally ruled that Minnesota maintained possession, but a review overturned the call and gave the ball to Washington.

Porter led Washington with 22 points, and Kelly Oubre had 16. Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott each scored 12 points.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points and 15 rebounds for Minnesota for his league-leading 18th double-double (see full recap).

Booker’s big night carries Suns
CHICAGO -- Devin Booker scored 33 points, and the Phoenix Suns held off the Chicago Bulls for a 104-99 win on Tuesday night.

Booker looked just fine after sitting out a game because of inflammation in his right big toe, nailing five 3-pointers and grabbing nine rebounds.

T.J. Warren scored 25 for Phoenix, and Alex Len tied a career high with 18 rebounds. The Suns dominated on the glass 57-41 while snapping a three-game losing streak.

The rebuilding Bulls are a league-worst 3-16 after dropping their sixth straight.

Justin Holiday made six 3-pointers on his way to 25 points for Chicago. Kris Dunn added 24 points, hitting all four from long range, and eight assists.

Phoenix came out on top after Chicago cut a 15-point fourth-quarter lead to three in the final minute (see full recap).

Robert Covington (lower back contusion) out vs. Pelicans

Robert Covington (lower back contusion) out vs. Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS — Robert Covington will miss the Sixers' game Sunday night against the Pelicans in New Orleans because of a lower back contusion he suffered during a fall Saturday late against the Cavaliers.

X-rays and a CT scan came back negative. Covington is with the team in New Orleans and is doubtful for Tuesday's game in Minnesota.

Covington tumbled out of bounds and over courtside seats while he tried to save a possession during a Sixers comeback attempt. There is an approximate four-to-five inch drop between the court and the area where Covington landed. Many of his teammates were unaware of Covington's injury at first because it was out of their vision.

“It’s scary to see your teammate like that,” guard JJ Redick said. “They said he fell on his back. I wanted to make sure he’s walking and not in too much pain. But I just wish the best for him and hope he’s OK.”

The Sixers will have to replace Covington in the starting lineup. They will have Joel Embiid back after the big man sat out Saturday because of his back-to-back restriction.

Trevor Booker wastes no time impressing Sixers in debut

Trevor Booker wastes no time impressing Sixers in debut

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND — Trevor Booker made his transition to the Sixers look easy in his first 20 minutes with his new team.

The veteran forward was a highlight of the Sixers’ 105-98 loss to the Cavaliers (see observations). He came in off the bench and gave the Sixers just what they expected when they acquired him Thursday from the Nets in exchange for Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas. 

“What we just saw is an accurate snapshot of what he is,” Brown said. “He’s high energy. He’s got a big motor. There’s a level of maturity and toughness that we need.”

The Sixers were shorthanded in the frontcourt without Joel Embiid, who was not with the team because of his back-to-back restriction. (Embiid will play Sunday in New Orleans.) Amir Johnson and Richaun Holmes were picking up the playing time, but both got in early foul trouble.

Booker was ready to go. He scored 12 points (4 for 6 from the field) and pulled down eight rebounds. Booker found himself at the right place at the right time, being a target for his teammates at the hoop.

“I think just going out there and playing with energy," Booker said, "finding easy baskets like that around the rim, those are things I have to do to get myself going and to help this team out.”

Booker is already forming chemistry with Ben Simmons, which could develop into a backcourt-frontcourt punch. Brown is excited for the younger players to share the court with the eighth-year veteran. 

“He’s a beast,” Simmons said. “I love playing with him so far. He’s a hard-working guy, he runs the floor, knows how to play the game, spaces the floor. He’s a good player.”

Booker echoed of Simmons, “He’s a tremendous passer, tremendous overall player. I can tell I’m going to have a lot of fun playing with him.”

Booker barely has had a second to catch his breath since the trade. He was in Mexico City with the Nets when he received the news. Booker estimates he got an hour of sleep Thursday night. He had to take an early morning connecting flight that eventually got him back to Brooklyn and then to Philadelphia for a physical. In a whirlwind of travel, he flew with the team Friday to Cleveland.

Still, he managed to look well rested and equally well prepared in his Sixers debut.

“Trevor can play on any team in the league,” JJ Redick said. “He’s easy to play with. He plays hard, he screens, he knows who he is, he stars in his role on a consistent basis. We’re lucky to have him.”