NBA: LeBron James' triple-double helps Cavaliers defeat Lakers; Warriors notch eighth straight win
Cleveland star LeBron James tied Larry Bird for sixth all time in NBA triple-doubles Thursday as the Cavaliers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 121-112.
Los Angeles: Cleveland star LeBron James tied Larry Bird for sixth all time in NBA triple-doubles Thursday as the Cavaliers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 121-112.
"King" James scored 25 points with 12 rebounds and 12 assists for the 59th triple-double of his 15-season career.
Cleveland's Kevin Love led all scorers with 28 points, while Jose Calderon added a season high 17.
Lonzo Ball, the Lakers rookie playing against James for the first time, finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
Brandon Ingram scored 26 points to lead the young, energetic Lakers, who seized an early lead before the Cavaliers found their range.
Cleveland scored 100 points for the 22nd consecutive game, winning for the 16th time in 17 contests.
James helped put the game away, his dunk with 2:20 remaining and short shot with 1:38 to play putting the Cavs up 117-108.
"Tonight the difficult challenge was the way they were kind of spreading the floor, running up and down," James said. "But if we defend, if we share the ball, move the ball, we're going to give ourselves a good chance to win every night."
In other early games, the New York Knicks lost star forward Kristaps Porzingis with a left knee injury in the third quarter but held on for a 111-104 victory over the Nets in Brooklyn.
Although they were just across town from their Madison Square Garden Arena, for the Knicks it was a much needed road win -- just their second of the season.
Courtney Lee scored a season high 27 points for the Knicks. Michael Beasley, who replaced Porzingis, added 15 points and Turkish center Enes Kanter added 13 points with nine rebounds.
The Detroit Pistons, called out by coach Stan Van Gundy after dropping their seventh straight game on Tuesday, snapped their skid with an emphatic 105-91 victory over Hawks in Atlanta.
Andre Drummond scored 12 points, pulled down 19 rebounds and handed out nine assists for the Pistons.
"It's a little less burdensome now," Van Gundy said of ending the losing streak that had stretched over the first two weeks of December. "Maybe we just get back to playing basketball."
Durant leads Warriors past Mavericks
Kevin Durant led the way for the Warriors with 36 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Klay Thompson scored 25 points, making all five of his 3-pointers and shooting 10 for 18 overall as the Warriors pulled away in the third quarter.
The Warriors are still down three starters in Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia, while Nick Young joined the sidelined group with a concussion sustained in Monday night's win over Portland.
Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Harrison Barnes added 16 points and seven boards against his former team.
"They're a talented team and we let a few miscommunications let them get a run going, and we just couldn't really stop them," Barnes said.
Golden State rookie Jordan Bell provided an all-around solid performance in his fourth career start with eight points, a season-best eight assists, six rebounds and two steals.
Durant also blocked two shots in his fourth 30-point game of the season and third in the last four. Golden State won their 10th in a row against the Mavericks at Oracle Arena and eighth consecutive in the series overall.
Towns scores 30 as Wolves cruise win over Kings
Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and 14 rebounds in his league-leading 23rd double-double, Jimmy Butler added 21 points and nine assists and the Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to a 119-96 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
"I came to be an assassin tonight, not a basketball player," Towns said. "I wanted to try to be as active as possible and just disrupt the game as much as possible as well."
Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points for Minnesota (17-12), which has won three of four and is off to the third-best start in franchise history after 29 games.
Zach Randolph had 15 points and nine rebounds for Sacramento. George Hill scored 16 points for the Kings, who lost rookie point guard DeAaron Fox to an injury in the first quarter.
Kosta Koufos had 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
"Tough night, we didn't play with enough force," Kings coach Dave Joerger said. "They did pretty much anything they wanted to us so it was very frustrating for us."
The Wolves used a 13-0 run in the third quarter, capping the stretch on a jumper by Butler for an 84-64 lead. Minnesota led by as many as 27 and coasted to the win after a string of close games. Their previous six games were all decided by six points or less.
"Win is a win, but it's always good to win like this, especially at home after losing a close one to Philly the other day," Butler said.
"I think we did all right. We didn't give up points in transition. We guarded. Still some things we can definitely do better, but I'm happy the way that we won."
With inputs from agencies
The Clippers announced that Leonard sprained his right knee during the Clippers' series-levelling win in game four on Monday, and will miss Wednesday's crucial game five in Salt Lake City.
Kyrie Irving won't play on Tuesday because of the sprained right ankle. The Nets also listed James Harden as out in their injury report on Monday but upgraded him twice on Tuesday, first to doubtful and then to questionable.
Middleton set a career playoff high with 38 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 30 and the Milwaukee Bucks never trailed in a 104-89 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night to force a decisive seventh game.