Chicago Bulls

Best of NBA: Balanced Cavaliers run win streak to 12 straight

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Best of NBA: Balanced Cavaliers run win streak to 12 straight

CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade and Kevin Love each scored 24 points, LeBron James had 23 and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Chicago Bulls 113-91 Monday night for their 12th straight win.

Backed by a trio of stars, the Cavaliers matched their longest winning streak since the 2014-15 season.

Wade made 9 of 13 shots in his first game in Chicago since agreeing to a buyout with his hometown team in late September. Love grabbed 13 rebounds and made 8 of 13 from the field. James finished 9 of 15 with seven rebounds and six assists. The Cavaliers shot just under 52 percent.

Kris Dunn led Chicago with 15 points. Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday scored 14 apiece as the Bulls fell to 3-19 with their ninth straight loss (see full recap).

Celtics win despite Greek Freak’s 40 points
BOSTON -- Kyrie Irving had 19 of his 32 points in the second half, helping offset a 40-point night by Giannis Antetokounmpo as the Boston Celtics held off the Milwaukee Bucks 111-100 on Monday night.

Al Horford added 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Jayson Tatum chipped in 17 points to help Boston improve to an NBA-best 21-4. The Celtics have won five of their last six.

It was the third 40-point game this season for Antetokounmpo. Khris Middleton added 19 points while Eric Bledsoe had 18 points.

Boston led by as many as 20 in the third quarter, before the Bucks stormed back, thanks in large part to Antetokounmpo. He almost singlehandedly kept the Bucks in it, scoring 16 points in the period and trimming Boston's lead to 88-81 entering the fourth.

It was 104-97 following a free-throw by Bledsoe, but the Celtics got five straight points from Irving to get the lead back up to 12 with less than a minute to play (see full recap).

Grizzlies top Timberwolves to snap 11-game skid
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Marc Gasol scored 21 points, Tyreke Evans added 16 -- including two key free throws with 12.7 seconds left -- and the Memphis Grizzlies snapped an 11-game skid with a 95-92 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

Memphis, which hadn't won since Nov. 7, had to wait a bit longer after Evans' free throws. On the ensuing possession, Jimmy Butler's off-balance, 26-footer over Andrew Harrison bounced off the backboard and grazed the rim, snapping the Grizzlies skid.

Butler led Minnesota with 30 points, his second-straight game with at least 30. Taj Gibson finished with 14 points, while Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague added 12 points each.

The game was close throughout with 14 lead changes and 12 ties, the last tie coming at 86-all with 5:43 remaining. After a pair of free throws from Gasol, Memphis never surrendered the lead the rest of the way, although the margin didn't reach more than three points.

Memphis held Minnesota to only 17 points in the fourth in holding off the Timberwolves (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: LeBron James, Cavaliers rally past winless Bulls

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Best of NBA: LeBron James, Cavaliers rally past winless Bulls

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 34 points in a rare start at point guard and the Cleveland Cavaliers, using another early season lineup, awakened after a sluggish first half and beat the Chicago Bulls 119-112 on Tuesday night.

Although he often handles the ball and runs Cleveland's offense, James had not officially been listed as a guard since 2012 with Miami. He added 13 assists, including a no-look, behind-the-back dish to Jae Crowder for a 3-pointer during Cleveland's 15-3 spurt in the third quarter.

Kevin Love had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade, who asked Cavs coach Tyronn Lue to take him out of the starting lineup, came off the bench and added 11 points.

Justin Holiday scored 25 and rookie Lauri Markkanen 19 for Chicago, which made a season-high 17 3-pointers. The 7-foot Markkanen became the first player in NBA history to make 10 3-pointers in his first three career games (see full recap).

Balanced Celtics keep Knicks winless
BOSTON -- Jaylen Brown scored 23 points, Jayson Tatum added 22 and the Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks 110-89 on Tuesday night.

Kyrie Irving added 20 points and seven assists. Al Horford finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

After dropping their first two games to open the season, the Celtics have won two straight. The Knicks remain winless through their first three games.

Enes Kanter led New York with 16 points and 19 rebounds. But he got most of them in a first half in as his team struggled mightily from the field. The Knicks scored the first basket of the night, but never led again. They shot just 42 percent and went 1 of 12 from the 3-point line (see full recap).

Gordon scores career-high 41 in Magic comeback
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Aaron Gordon scored a career-high 41 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining, and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Orlando Magic to a 125-121 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.

Evan Fournier added 28 points in game that went back and forth late in the fourth quarter. He finished the scoring with two free throws with 15.5 seconds to play.

D'Angelo Russell scored 27 points for the Nets, while DeMarre Carroll had 19 and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 18.

The Magic trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half, but Gordon and Fournier led Orlando on an impressive comeback down the stretch to follow their win over Cleveland with another victory. Orlando fought through a six-point deficit during the final five minutes as Gordon, Fournier and Nikola Vucevic began to attack the paint.

The Nets broke away from a 61-all tie at halftime, with Carroll hitting a couple of 3-pointers to help Brooklyn extend its lead to 12 points. But Gordon, who sat out with an injury when the Nets beat Orlando in Brooklyn last week, and Fournier responded in the final three minutes of the third quarter to pull the Magic to 96-87 going into the fourth quarter (see full recap).