Cleveland Cavaliers

Shorthanded Raptors feast on reeling Cavaliers

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Shorthanded Raptors feast on reeling Cavaliers

TORONTO -- LeBron James and the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers absorbed their most-lopsided loss of the season when they were routed by the Toronto Raptors 133-99 on Thursday night.

The Cavaliers have dropped six of eight dating to a Christmas Day defeat at defending champion Golden State. James scored 26 points in this loss while Isaiah Thomas missed his first 11 shots.

After losing to Minnesota 127-99 on Monday, the Cavaliers fell by an even bigger margin. Toronto's 133 points were the most by any Cavaliers opponent this season, and marked the third straight game that Cleveland has allowed at least 127.

Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 22 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and a season-high 18 rebounds and the Raptors overcame the absences of two starters.

C.J.Miles scored 16 points, Pascal Siakam and Norm Powell each had 14 and DeMar DeRozan 13 for the Raptors, who were without point guard Kyle Lowry (bruised tailbone) and forward Serge Ibaka (suspension). Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors.

VanVleet made six of eight 3-point attempts as the Raptors connected on a season-high 18 shots from beyond the arc (see full recap).

Clippers hold off Kings after blowing lead
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Tyrone Wallace intercepted a pass at midcourt and drove in for a dunk with 10.9 seconds left, moments after what looked like a costly turnover by Lou Williams, and the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Sacramento Kings 121-115 on Thursday night after blowing a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.

The Clippers, who lost DeAndre Jordan to a sprained left ankle in the second quarter, won their third straight over the Kings this season and their 11th in a row at Sacramento.

Williams finished with 30 points and six assists, one night after scoring a career-high 50 against defending champion Golden State. Blake Griffin had 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in his return to the Clippers after missing two games with a concussion, and Montrezl Harrell scored a season-best 25 -- including 16 in the second quarter when Los Angeles put up 43 points.

The Clippers led 106-92 early in the fourth before the Kings rallied to go ahead 113-112 on Bogdan Bogdanovich's layup with 2:10 remaining.

Griffin followed with a 3-pointer and Williams later scored on a short jumper, but the Kings pulled to 117-115 on George Hill's free throw with 24.9 seconds left (see full recap).

Ingram guides Lakers to 3rd straight win
LOS ANGELES -- Brandon Ingram scored 26 points, Lonzo Ball added 18 and the Los Angeles Lakers held off the short-handed San Antonio Spurs 93-81 Thursday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Larry Nance Jr. had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who blew an early 19-point lead before running away in the fourth quarter. Ball contributed 10 rebounds and six assists as Los Angeles snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Spurs at Staples Center since April 2013, the last time the Lakers made the playoffs.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half for the Spurs, who committed 21 turnovers while playing without injured starters Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Danny Green.

Bryn Forbes scored 18 points and Dejounte Murray added 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Ingram had an aggressive offensive game, and Ball hit four 3-pointers as the Lakers (14-27) hit the halfway point of what's looking like their fifth consecutive non-playoff season.

That would extend the longest postseason drought in franchise history for the 16-time NBA champions, but the Lakers' young roster has showed signs of life with three wins after a nine-game losing streak (see full recap).

Terry Rozier steals show in East showdown

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Terry Rozier steals show in East showdown

BOSTON -- Terry Rozier scored 20 points in 20 minutes, stealing the spotlight from LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas in a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals and leading the Boston Celtics to a 102-88 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Rozier scored the last eight Boston points of the first quarter to give the Celtics an 11-point lead, and had another eight in a row midway through the fourth when they expanded the lead to 21. Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum had 15 points apiece, and Irving and Al Horford each had 11 points and nine rebounds to help Boston to its fourth straight win.

James had 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, which lost for the fourth time in five games. Playing on back-to-back nights -- the Celtics had been preparing for them since New Year's Eve -- Cleveland shot 34.8 percent.

It was the first time the teams had played since the season opener, when top Boston free-agent Gordon Hayward broke his leg and in a gruesome injury that reshuffled the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Celtics finished with the top seed last year, but lost in the conference finals to Cleveland (see full recap).

Beal, Wall spark Wizards’ win over Knicks
WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal scored 27 points, John Wall added 25 with nine assists and the Washington Wizards beat the New York Knicks 121-103 on Wednesday night.

Playing for the first time since he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Beal followed his 39-point outburst on Sunday by hitting 11 of his 14 field goal attempts for Washington, which was won five of six.

Marcin Gortat had a season-high 21 points, making 9 of 10 from the field.

Michael Beasley had 20 points, including 16 in the second half to lead the Knicks, who have lost six of seven.

Kristips Porzingis scored 16 points. New York has lost 14 of its last 15 to Washington (see full recap).

Harden-less Rockets roll over Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Gerald Green scored 27 points, Clint Capela had 21 points and eight rebounds and the Houston Rockets got by without NBA scoring leader James Harden, routing the Orlando Magic 116-98 on Wednesday night.

Harden was sidelined by a strained left hamstring.

Green made his first five 3-point shots and finished 7 for 10 from behind the arc for the Rockets, who were never behind and led by as many as 28 late in the third quarter.

Eric Gordon added 17 points and six assists to help Houston tune up for its Thursday night showdown with the Golden State Warriors.

Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 16 points after missing his first eight shots. Elfrid Payton and Mario Hezonja added 14 each in Orlando's 12th loss on 13 games.

The Magic (12-27) missed 16 of their first 18 shots and fell behind by 15 points before the end of the first quarter. A scoring burst by Hezonja kept them in the game in the second quarter but they could get no closer than nine (see full recap).

Thomas plays big in long-awaited Cavs debut

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Thomas plays big in long-awaited Cavs debut

CLEVELAND -- Isaiah Thomas showed flashes of what made him an All-Star in his long-awaited Cleveland debut as the Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 127-110 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

Thomas scored 17 points and played 19 minutes in his first game in seven months, an impressive return to action for the dynamic point guard. Thomas added three 3-pointers and three assists before leaving with 8:10 left and the Cavs up by 12.

LeBron James scored 24 points, Kevin Love had 19 and Jae Crowder added 15 for the Cavs, who were coming off losses at Golden State, Sacramento and Utah.

Damian Lillard scored 25 for the Blazers after missing five games with a hamstring injury. Jusuf Nurkic added 23 and CJ McCollum had 19 for Portland.

The Cavs were unable to separate from the Blazers until Thomas and Dwyane Wade teamed up in the fourth quarter.

Thomas, who finished 6 of 12 from the field, knocked down a jumper and then fired a pass toward the baseline to a cutting Wade, who made a reverse layup. On Cleveland's next possession, Thomas spotted up in the corner in front of Cleveland's bench and buried a 3-pointer to give the Cavs a 100-91 lead.

A few moments later, James was sent in for Thomas, who first got a hug from his teammate and another from coach Tyronn Lue as the crowd roared (see full recap)

Aldridge, Leonard lead Spurs past Knicks
NEW YORK -- LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points, Kawhi Leonard had a season-high 25 and the San Antonio Spurs beat the New York Knicks 100-91 on Tuesday night to give Gregg Popovich sole possession of fifth place on the NBA's coaching wins list.

Manu Ginobili finished with 12 points -- three of them coming on what appeared to be a pass that went into the basket without everyone noticing.

Popovich has 1,176 victories, all with the Spurs. The five-time champion broke a tie with his friend George Karl.

The Spurs beat the Knicks for the second time in six days and won for the fourth time in five games. They beat New York 119-107 on Dec. 28.

Michael Beasley had 18 points for the Knicks, who were playing one of just four home games this month. They play 12 times on the road.

Kristaps Porzingis shot just 5 for 19 and was one of three Knicks to finish with 13 points (see full recap).

Suns pull off late comeback over Hawks
PHOENIX -- Devin Booker sank three free throws to put Phoenix ahead with 12.3 seconds to play, Marquese Chriss blocked Taurean Prince's shot at the rim with 7 seconds to go and the Suns rallied from down 10 in the final 2 minutes to beat the Atlanta Hawks 104-103 on Tuesday night.

Booker scored eight of his 34 points in the final 37 seconds as the Suns finished with a 15-4 run. T.J. Warren scored 31 and Chriss had 17 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks for Phoenix.

Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 points for Atlanta. Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schroder added 20 apiece.

Bazemore made 7 of 8 shots, including 4 of 5 3-pointers, but he fouled Booker on a 3-point attempt with the Hawks clinging to a two-point lead.

Booker made all three to put the Suns on top 102-101. Prince then got free for what looked to be an open layup, but Chriss came from the other side of the court to block the shot.

Booker made two more at the line with 6.5 seconds remaining to make it 104-101. With the Hawks needing a 3-pointer to tie it, Schroder instead drove for the layup to cut it to one, but by then there was just a half-second to play and the Suns handed Atlanta its seventh straight road loss (see full recap).