Spurs end four-game skid with 110-94 victory in Cleveland
CLEVELAND (AP) LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points, Danny Green added 22 and the San Antonio Spurs ended their annual ”rodeo” road trip by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-94 on Sunday to snap a four-game losing streak.
Green, who missed Friday’s loss at Denver with food poisoning, came off the bench for the first time in 49 games this season. He made five 3-pointers to provide a perfect outside complement to Aldridge’s dynamic inside game. Dejounte Murray added 13 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio, a team not accustomed to any turmoil.
But the Spurs have not been themselves lately while playing without star Kawhi Leonard. They had dropped six of seven and four in a row on a trip (their arena hosts a rodeo every year) that coach Gregg Popovich’s squad typically uses as a spring board into the playoffs.
LeBron James had 33 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for the Cavs, who fell to 3-2 since overhauling their roster with three trades.
DENVER (AP) – James Harden had 41 points and eight rebounds, Chris Paul scored 23 points and Houston beat Denver for its 12th straight victory.
Harden had 27 in the first half and seven in the fourth quarter, when the Rockets held off a late Denver rally. Harden has scored 40 or more points nine times this season. He finished with seven assists.
Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 14 rebounds for Denver, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. Will Barton added 25 points.
The Rockets are 21-4 since Dec. 29 and own the best record (46-13) in the NBA. They are outscoring teams by an average of 12.5 points during the 12-game winning streak. The five-point win Sunday was their closest game during the streak.
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Jrue Holiday scored 28 of his 36 points after halftime to lead New Orleans over Milwaukee in overtime.
Holiday added nine rebounds and six assists for New Orleans, which held on for its season-high fifth win in a row when Jason Terry’s 3-pointer was ruled after the buzzer.
Anthony Davis, who entered the game as the league’s third-leading scorer (27.7 ppg), added 27 points and 13 rebounds.
The Pelicans trailed by 18 early in the second half but outscored Milwaukee 38-19 in the third quarter.
Khris Middleton scored 25 points for the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the No. 2 scorer in the NBA (27.8) and Eric Bledsoe each added 20, but the Bucks lost for only the fourth time in the last 14 games and fell to 9-26 all-time against New Orleans.
WIZARDS 109, 76ERS 94
WASHINGTON (AP) – Otto Porter scored 24 points, Bradley Beal added 23 and Washington had a dominant second quarter in a victory over Philadelphia.
Kelly Oubre scored 16 of his 19 points in the first half to help fourth-place Washington move a half-game ahead of Indiana in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Wizards improved to 9-3 in an extended stretch without All-Star point guard John Wall (knee surgery).
Joel Embiid had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Philadelphia, which dropped a half-game behind Milwaukee into seventh place and two back of Washington in the congested East standings.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Dwight Howard had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Kemba Walker added 17 points and Charlotte beat Detroit for its season-best fourth straight win.
The Hornets improved to 27-33 while making a push toward the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs. The Pistons have 28 wins, and there are eight teams in the conference with at least 31 victories.
Seven Charlotte players scored in double digits, and the Hornets’ bench outscored Detroit’s reserves 51-28.
Blake Griffin led the Pistons with 20 points on 10-for-18 shooting, while Andre Drummond had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Detroit has lost five of six.