CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers' winning streak was in unexpected jeopardy Saturday night before LeBron James took over.
James scored 34 points, including seven in the final 1:22, and Cleveland beat the Memphis Grizzlies 116-111 for their 11th straight victory.
The loss was the 11th straight for Memphis, including three since David Fizdale was fired Monday and replaced by interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, but the Grizzlies nearly ended their streak in shocking fashion.
Memphis trailed 91-72 late in the third quarter, but rallied all the way to a tie at 109 on Dillon Brooks' 3-pointer with 2:10 remaining.
That's when James stepped up, to the surprise of no one in the building, particularly Dwyane Wade, his long-time friend and teammate (see full recap).
Antetokoumpo scores 33 points as Bucks beat Kings
MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and the Milwaukee Bucks held off the Sacramento Kings 109-104 on Saturday night.
Antetokounmpo made 17 free throws and had 13 rebounds, Khris Middleton added 25 points and Eric Bledsoe had 18. Milwaukee beat the Kings 112-87 on Tuesday night in Sacramento.
Zach Randolph led the Kings with 22 points, and Buddy Hield added 19. They were coming off a victory Friday night in Chicago.
The Bucks led by as many as 20 in the third quarter and took a 12-point advantage into the fourth (see full recap).
Irving scores 19 points as Celtics top Suns
BOSTON — With Boston in danger of blowing a big fourth-quarter lead, Kyrie Irving stepped up again for the Celtics.
Irving had a key 3-pointer and a driving basket in the closing two minutes, helping Boston hold off the Phoenix Suns for a 116-111 victory on Saturday.
"Kyrie's ability to make those shots with very little space is pretty impressive," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "We put ourselves in a bad spot after that fourth-quarter run."
Irving finished with 19 points, leading a balanced attack for NBA-leading Boston (20-4). Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris each scored 17 points, Jayson Tatum had 15 and Al Horford added 14 points and a career-best 11 assists (see full recap).
Murray, Barton lead Nuggets over Lakers
DENVER — Jamal Murray had 28 points, Will Barton scored 13 of his 16 points in the final 7:44, and the Denver Nuggets scored the game's final 15 points to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 115-100 on Saturday night.
Denver was without its starting frontcourt of Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap and Wilson Chandler. Millsap is out several months after surgery on his left wrist, Jokic was in a walking boot after suffering a sprained left ankle Thursday, but Chandler (back) could return Monday.
The Nuggets missed the trio, which combines for nearly 40 points and 21.2 rebounds per game. The Lakers outrebounded Denver 52-39, including an 18-7 advantage in the second quarter when Los Angeles took a 59-55 halftime lead.
Brandon Ingram led the Lakers with 20 points and Brook Lopez had 15 points. Lonzo Ball had nine points, nine rebounds and five assists but couldn't duplicate the triple-double he had against the Nuggets at home on Nov. 19 (see full recap).