ATLANTA -- LeBron James had yet another double-double, took command of a challenging defensive assignment and stuck around to see the end of the Cleveland Cavaliers' 10th straight victory, 121-114 over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night.
James had 24 points and 12 assists, and Kevin Love had 25 points and 16 rebounds to help Cleveland hold off Atlanta to extend the NBA's longest active winning streak. It was James' 14th double-double in 22 games.
James had frequent exchanges with the officials but avoided serious confrontations following his first ejection in 1,082 career games Tuesday night in a home victory over Miami.
Dennis Schroder, who led Atlanta with 27 points, blew past Cavaliers guard Jose Calderon to score on three straight layups to give Atlanta a 67-58 lead late in the first half. James took over primary defensive duties on Schroder to close the half and continued covering the super-quick guard in the second half.
The Cavaliers, who lost 117-115 at home to the Hawks on Nov. 4, ended a streak of three straight losses in the series (see full recap).
Barton nets 37, game-winner for Nuggets
DENVER -- Will Barton capped a career-high 37 points with a driving layup with 3.2 seconds left and the Denver Nuggets overcame the loss of Nikola Jokic to beat the Chicago Bulls 111-110 on Thursday night.
Gary Harris added 21 points, and Kenneth Faried had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Denver.
Jokic went down in with 44 seconds left in the second quarter when he drove to the basket and stepped on Jerian Grant's foot. Jokic hit two free throws before heading to the locker room with an obvious limp. He didn't return in the second half.
Lauri Markanen and Robin Lopez had 20 points each for Chicago, and Kris Dunn added 19. The Bulls have lost seven straight to finish 2-13 in November and drop to 3-17 overall.
The Bulls, who led for most of the game, took advantage of Jokic's absence and led 108-105 in the final minute. Barton was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three free throws to tie it, then made 1 of 2 to give Denver a one-point lead with 20 seconds left.
Dunn gave Chicago the lead with a layup with 9.6 seconds left, but Barton drove the length of the court and hit a reverse layup.
Chicago led 68-62 at halftime but Denver rallied to briefly take the lead in the third quarter. Grant hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third to put the Bulls ahead 92-91 (see full recap).
Middleton, Bucks snap Blazers’ win streak
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Khris Middleton had 26 points while Eric Bledsoe had 25 and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Trail Blazers 103-91 on Thursday night to snap a three-game Portland winning streak.
Giannis Antetokounmpo added 20 points, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots for the Bucks, who have won their last four games against the Blazers.
The Bucks led by as many as 24 points in the third quarter and the Blazers struggled to keep up. Portland was also vexed by turnovers, with 19 compared to Milwaukee's nine.
Jusuf Nurkic led Portland with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Damian Lillard added 18 points.
Lillard's layup closed Portland within 94-81 with 5:52 left and it appeared the Blazers may rally, but Middleton answered with an 11-foot jumper. Portland's frustration was clear when Nurkic and coach Terry Stotts both earned technicals for a foul call on Nurkic on a block.
Portland was coming off a 4-1 trip, including a 103-91 victory over the Knicks on Monday. The Blazers also saw the return of forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who missed 13 games with a right ankle injury (see full recap).