The Recorder

LeBron scores 31 as Cavs roll into All-Star break with a victory

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers are getting some down time. Not they really want any right now.

After some disruptions and some drama, the NBA champions are rolling once more.

LeBron James scored 31 points, Kyrie Irving added 26, Kyle Korver made six 3-pointers as the Cavs reached the All-Star break with their seventh win in eight games, beating the Indiana Pacers 113-104 on Wednesday night.

Irving and Korver combined to make four 3s in the first 2:50 of the fourth quarter — Korver finished with 22 points and became the seventh player with 2,000 career 3s — and the Cavs, playing their second game without All-Star Kevin Love, pulled away and improved to 7-1 in February after a 7-8 January.

“This is the way we wanted to play coming into February and the guys are excellent so far in this month,” James said. “It sucks because we have a great rhythm right now and you hate to have the break. But the break is going to be good for everybody. It gives guys an opportunity — if they have some nicks and bruises and things of that nature. Just get away and decompress for a little bit, but we’ve been playing some good basketball.”

And while his teammates will relax over the next few days, James and Irving are headed to New Orleans for Sunday’s All-Star game.

At 39-16, and winners of three straight, Cleveland leads the Eastern Conference at the unofficial halfway point. The Cavs have endured their fair share of injuries already and won’t be at full strength until Love (knee surgery) and J.R. Smith (thumb surgery) return.

That’s still weeks away, but coach Tyronn Lue is pleased with how his team has handled adversity.

“Any time you lose two starters, it’s going to make it tough but we have a no-excuse mentality and guys are stepping up and guys are playing well,” he said, “and we got to continue to keep doing that until J.R. and Kevin get back.”

CELTICS 116, 76ERS 108

BOSTON (AP) — Isaiah Thomas scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and Boston held on to beat Philadelphia.

It was the 40th straight 20-point game for Thomas, tying the team record set by John Havlicek during the 1971-72 season. Marcus Smart added 21 points and eight steals for the Celtics.

Boston has won four in a row and 11 of 12. Philadelphia had won three straight.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 10 of his 35 points during a big third-quarter run and the Golden State Warriors beat the Sacramento Kings.

Stephen Curry added 13 points and nine assists, and Kevin Durant had 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Warriors bounced back from a loss in Denver two nights earlier to head into the All-Star break an NBA-best 47-9.


HOUSTON (AP) — Hassan Whiteside had 23 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks to help Miami beat Houston.

Dion Waiters added 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and Goran Dragic had 21 points for the Heat. They had lost two straight after winning 12 in a row.

James Harden had 38 points 12 rebounds and 12 assists for Houston his 15th triple-double of the season.

BUCKS 129, NETS 125

NEW YORK (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points in his final game before making his All-Star debut, Greg Monroe added 25 and Milwaukee sent Brooklyn Nets to the break on a 14-game skid.

Khris Middleton finished with 20 points in his strongest game since returning from a ruptured left hamstring that forced him to miss the first 50 games. Monroe was 12 for 16 from the field after going 12 for 15 on Monday in a victory over Detroit.

Brook Lopez scored a season-high 36 points for the Nets.


DENVER (AP) — Andrew Wiggins scored 40 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 24 points and 18 rebounds in Minnesota’s victory over Denver.

Wiggins’ second 40-plus game in 24 hours helped the Timberwolves split the season series.

The Nuggets went cold 48 hours after blowing out Golden State behind an NBA record-tying 24 3-pointers on 40 tries. They made just 11 of 34 from long range this time, and Nicola Jokic shot just 6 of 19 from the floor for 15 hard-earned points.

SUNS 137, LAKERS 101

PHOENIX (AP) — Eric Bledsoe had his third career triple-double, the first for a Phoenix player since November 2015, and the Suns routed Los Angeles.

Bledsoe got his 10th rebound with 6:06 to go and exited shortly after, finishing with 25 points and a season high-tying 13 assists. Devin Booker scored 23 points.

Lou Williams and D’Angelo Russell led Los Angeles with 21 points apiece.


TORONTO (AP) — Kyle Lowry scored 21 points and Toronto overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Charlotte.

Norman Powell had 17 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Raptors. Frank Kaminsky had 27 points, and Kemba Walker added 24 points and nine assists for Charlotte.


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points and Kawhi Leonard added 22, leading San Antonio past short-handed Orlando.

Orlando was down a key player after newly acquired swingman Terrence Ross was unable to suit up because Serge Ibaka didn’t complete his physical in time in Toronto. The Magic sent Ibaka to Toronto for Ross and a first-round draft pick Tuesday.

Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 16 points and 10 rebounds.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Solomon Hill scored a season-high 23 points and Anthony Davis added 18, including a key basket with 38.8 seconds left that helped New Orleans hold off Memphis.

Jrue Holiday had 19 points and seven assists for New Orleans. Alexis Ajinca added 12 points and a season-high 10 rebounds. Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 17 points.


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Reggie Jackson scored 22 points, Jon Leuer added 20 and Detroit beat Dallas.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16 points, and Tobias Harris 13. Dirk Nowitzki had 13 of his 24 points in the third quarter to help the Mavericks rally.


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gordon Hayward scored 22 points and George Hill added 19 for Utah.

Joe Ingles had 18 points for the Jazz, and Rudy Gobert had 13 points and 12 rebounds. CJ McCollum had 18 points for Portland.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 17 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Atlanta Hawks to head into the All-Star break on a four-game winning streak.

J.J. Redick added 15 points, Austin Rivers had 13 and All-Star DeAndre Jordan had 16 rebounds to help the Clippers beat the Hawks at home for the first time since March 8, 2014.

Dennis Schroder led Atlanta with 15 points, and Dwight Howard had 11 points and 15 rebounds.