Atlanta Hawks

Best of NBA: Surging Cavaliers drop Hawks for 10th straight win

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Best of NBA: Surging Cavaliers drop Hawks for 10th straight win

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).

2 teams emerge in Jahlil Okafor trade talks

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2 teams emerge in Jahlil Okafor trade talks

Is the painfully uncomfortable Jahlil Okafor saga nearing a conclusion?

Keep an eye on two rebuilding Eastern Conference teams sure to be at the bottom of the standings. The Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks "are the most likely destinations for Okafor," according to NBA.com's David Aldridge.

Aldridge, along with others, has reported the Sixers are holding out to obtain at least a draft pick in return for Okafor. It obviously won't be a future first-round pick; the Sixers would be looking more at a second-rounder.

The Bulls pursued Okafor last season (as did the Blazers) but no deal materialized. It would be as good a fit as any for him — he went to high school in Chicago, and the Bulls have available playing time. Their starting center is Robin Lopez, a rim protector, but they're not getting much out of backup center Cristian Felicio. Felicio has played 16 minutes per game and those minutes could be reallocated to a player with more upside like Okafor.

The Hawks could also fit Okafor into their system, mostly because they need some sort of scoring from a big man. Dennis Schroder leads the Hawks with 22.6 points but nobody else is at 14.0, and rookie power forward John Collins leads their bigs with 10.5 points per game.

Both of these situations make sense for Okafor because the Bulls and Hawks have little to lose. They'd be trading away an insignificant asset for a player with offensive upside. If Okafor doesn't pan out in either city, no big deal, he'll be an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

Best of NBA: Celtics squeeze past Hawks for 9th straight win

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Best of NBA: Celtics squeeze past Hawks for 9th straight win

ATLANTA -- Kyrie Irving scored 35 points, Jayson Tatum added 21 and the Boston Celtics held off the Atlanta Hawks 110-107 Monday night for their ninth straight victory.

Irving's 3 from the right wing put the Celtics up 104-103 -- the game's 25th lead change -- with 1:37 remaining, and Boston led the rest of the way.

Dennis Schroder had 23 points for the rebuilding Hawks, who dropped to 2-9 a night after a surprising two-point win at Cleveland.

Boston improved to 9-2, best in the NBA, and has its longest winning streak in seven years.

Al Horford had 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in his best game against the Hawks. Horford spent his first nine seasons in Atlanta before leaving as a free agent ahead of last season and had totals of 20 points and 17 rebounds in three games against the Hawks (see full recap).

Warriors overcome cold shooting to beat Heat
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Kevin Durant had 21 points and eight rebounds to help the Golden State Warriors overcome their shooting woes and beat the Miami Heat 97-80 in a rare low-scoring outing Monday night.

Draymond Green scored 18 points with a season-high four 3s to go with nine rebounds as the defending NBA champions won for the seventh time in their last eight games, including three straight in lopsided fashion on their recent road trip.

The Warriors had scored 100 points in every regular-season game since their second-to-last matchup last season, a 105-99 defeat to Utah as the regulars rested or played limited minutes ahead of the playoffs. Golden State is 3-11 over the past three seasons when held below 100 points.

Stephen Curry added 16 points and Klay Thompson 13. The Warriors shot just 36.8 percent and 11 for 32 from deep. Durant added six assists and three blocks.

James Johnson scored 21 points off the bench and Goran Dragic contributed 19 points for Miami a night after squeaking out a 104-101 road win against the Clippers (see full recap).

Russell sparks Nets’ road win over Suns
PHOENIX -- D'Angelo Russell had 23 points and nine assists, Joe Harris scored a season-high 18 points and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Phoenix Suns 98-92 on Monday night.

The Suns rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit to lead 75-74 after Jared Dudley's layup with 9:17 to play, but the Nets went back ahead moments later and held on to end a four-game skid.

Russell scored 13 points in the fourth quarter. DeMarre Carroll added 14 points and 11 rebounds.

T.J. Warren had 20 points as the Suns lost their third straight. Devin Booker scored 18 points before fouling out late in the game.

The Suns made just 34.9 percent of their field goal attempts despite starting well, with Booker scoring 11 points in the first seven minutes. The Nets used a 16-0 run to go up 28-16.

Phoenix cut the lead to one twice in the second quarter but finished the half making 10 of 40 shots. The Nets, behind 14 first-half points from Harris, led 47-41 at the break (see full recap).