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Cavaliers turn back rally to snap skid

CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving scored 29, LeBron James added 27 and the Cavaliers bounced back from two straight losses with a 99-84 win over the Pelicans on Saturday night.

Irving and James combined for 17 points in the fourth quarter as Cleveland improved to 6-3 since Tyronn Lue replaced David Blatt as head coach on Jan. 22.

Kevin Love was out with a bruised left thigh, but the Cavaliers went ahead early in the game and never gave up the lead despite a strong rally by New Orleans in the second half.

Norris Cole scored a career-high 26 points while Anthony Davis scored 24 points with 11 rebounds for New Orleans, which has lost four straight.

Cleveland nearly blew a 15-point lead for the second straight night. The Cavaliers were ahead 54-39 late in the second quarter, but the Pelicans cut the lead to four on several occasions in the second half.

Cleveland held a 15-point lead in the first quarter Friday against Boston, but lost on Avery Bradley's 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Cole, who was 10-of-19 from the field, scored 14 in the third to help New Orleans get back in the game. The Pelicans trailed 74-70 going into the fourth.

Irving was 11-of-21 from the field while James made 11 of 20 shots. James' 3-pointer early in the third broke his 0-for-18 slump from behind the arc.

J.R. Smith scored 20 for Cleveland, including six 3-pointers. Tristan Thompson was scoreless but had 15 rebounds in 33 minutes.

Davis shot 13-of-22 and finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and four steals in New Orleans' 114-108 overtime win over Cleveland on Dec. 4.

Game highlights: Damian Lillard had 21 points and 10 assists to lead a balanced attack as the visiting Trail Blazers built a big lead early and rolled to a 96-79 win over the Rockets. Portland led by 19 at halftime and scored the first six of the third quarter to make it 61-36 with about 10 minutes left in the quarter. James Harden made four quick points after that before the Trail Blazers used a 13-2 run — with 3s from Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Al-Farouq Aminu — to push the lead to 74-42. … Nicolas Batum had 26 points and 11 rebounds, and the host Hornets rallied in the second half to beat the Wizards 108-104. Kemba Walker added 23 points, Marvin Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Spencer Hawes scored 14 for the Hornets, who trailed by as many as 19 points in the second quarter. … Paul George had 30 points to help the host Pacers hold on for a 112-104 win over the Pistons. Indiana nearly squandered a 20-point third-quarter lead but held on thanks to five missed free throws by Andre Drummond in the game's final 3:30. … Jahlil Okafor had 22 points and 17 rebounds and Nerlens Noel added 18 points, including a key dunk late in the fourth quarter, to lead the host 76ers to a 103-98 victory over the Nets. Rookie T.J. McConnell tied his career high with 17 points.

Bulls' Butler has strained left knee

MINNEAPOLIS — When All-Star guard Jimmy Butler elevated during the second quarter of a game against Denver on Friday night, he heard a pop in his left knee — the last noise any basketball player wants to hear. The Bulls braced for the worst when Butler went in for an MRI exam.

After an anxious night of sleep, the Bulls were able to breathe a sigh of relief when the exam revealed that Butler has a strained left knee and no significant ligament damage. There was no immediate timetable for his return, and coach Fred Hoiberg said the team would have a better idea after Butler is examined by team doctors in Chicago today.

"It's scary," Hoiberg said. "He took off, he heard a pop and you expect the worse when you hear that. … Any time the ligaments are intact when a situation like that happens, it's a relief."

Butler missed Saturday night's game against Minnesota, and Hoiberg said he would also miss Monday's game at Charlotte, but the coach was not ready just yet to rule him out for the All-Star Game in Toronto next week.

Butler needed to be carted off the court after his injury, the latest in a long line of injuries for the Bulls. Butler has emerged as the new leader of the franchise, averaging 22.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists for a team that has struggled to find its footing in the Eastern Conference.

No matter how long Butler is out, the strain of the soft tissue around his left knee is a far better outcome than a torn ligament, which would have ended his season.

Trail Blazers 96, Rockets 79

PORTLAND (96): Aminu 4-13 0-2 11, Harkless 6-13 0-2 14, Plumlee 4-8 2-2 10, Lillard 7-20 4-4 21, McCollum 6-13 2-3 16, Leonard 1-4 1-2 3, Davis 1-6 1-1 3, Henderson 5-8 5-5 16, Frazier 1-2 0-2 2. Totals 35-87 15-23 96.

HOUSTON (79): Brewer 3-11 1-1 8, Ariza 2-8 0-0 5, Howard 6-10 5-8 17, Beverley 2-10 0-1 4, Harden 7-18 15-18 33, Smith 0-4 0-0 0, Capela 0-0 0-0 0, Lawson 1-4 0-0 2, Terry 0-1 0-0 0, Thornton 2-7 0-0 5, Harrell 2-4 1-2 5. Totals 25-77 22-30 79.

Portland 29 26 19 22— 96

Houston 23 13 17 26— 79

3-Point GoalsPortland 11-35 (Lillard 3-9, Aminu 3-9, Harkless 2-5, McCollum 2-6, Henderson 1-3, Leonard 0-3), Houston 7-36 (Harden 4-9, Ariza 1-4, Brewer 1-5, Thornton 1-5, Howard 0-1, Lawson 0-2, Smith 0-3, Beverley 0-7). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsPortland 65 (Davis 9), Houston 55 (Howard 14). AssistsPortland 21 (Lillard 10), Houston 13 (Brewer 5). Total FoulsPortland 21, Houston 21. TechnicalsAriza, Beverley. A18,308 (18,023).

Pacers 112, Pistons 104

DETROIT (104): Morris 6-11 3-6 16, Ilyasova 1-8 1-2 4, Drummond 4-8 2-8 10, Jackson 10-15 3-4 26, Johnson 6-13 2-2 14, Baynes 1-5 2-2 4, Hilliard 3-6 1-3 9, Tolliver 5-10 2-4 17, Jennings 2-4 0-0 4, Bullock 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-80 16-31 104.

INDIANA (112): George 7-13 14-15 30, Turner 8-13 0-0 16, Mahinmi 1-2 2-4 4, G.Hill 7-14 2-2 17, Ellis 3-7 2-2 8, J.Hill 6-10 0-0 12, Miles 4-9 1-2 10, Young 3-4 0-0 8, Allen 2-4 1-2 5, Robinson III 0-0 2-2 2, S.Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 41-76 24-29 112.

Detroit 22 26 33 23— 104

Indiana 34 28 25 25— 112

3-Point GoalsDetroit 12-33 (Tolliver 5-9, Jackson 3-4, Hilliard 2-4, Ilyasova 1-5, Morris 1-6, Jennings 0-2, Johnson 0-3), Indiana 6-11 (Young 2-2, George 2-2, G.Hill 1-3, Miles 1-3, Ellis 0-1). Fouled OutJohnson. ReboundsDetroit 50 (Drummond 13), Indiana 47 (J.Hill, George 8). AssistsDetroit 14 (Morris 4), Indiana 21 (Ellis 5). Total FoulsDetroit 26, Indiana 25. A18,165 (18,165).

Hornets 108, Wizards 104

WASHINGTON (104): Porter 7-14 4-6 20, Dudley 4-8 0-0 10, Gortat 4-9 3-4 11, Wall 7-17 7-8 23, Temple 1-4 0-0 2, Neal 1-7 0-0 2, Sessions 3-10 2-2 8, Gooden 3-4 0-0 6, Beal 8-13 3-4 22, Oubre Jr. 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-86 19-24 104.

CHARLOTTE (108): Kidd-Gilchrist 3-7 3-4 9, Williams 5-6 1-2 13, Zeller 3-6 2-2 8, Walker 8-20 3-4 23, Batum 9-20 5-6 26, Lin 3-5 0-0 7, Lamb 1-6 1-1 3, Hawes 4-6 5-6 14, Kaminsky 2-5 0-0 5. Totals 38-81 20-25 108.

Washington 25 33 17 29— 104

Charlotte 25 23 30 30— 108

3-Point GoalsWashington 9-25 (Beal 3-4, Dudley 2-4, Wall 2-4, Porter 2-5, Temple 0-2, Neal 0-3, Sessions 0-3), Charlotte 12-27 (Walker 4-10, Batum 3-9, Williams 2-3, Lin 1-1, Kaminsky 1-1, Hawes 1-1, Kidd-Gilchrist 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsWashington 51 (Gortat 13), Charlotte 50 (Batum 11). AssistsWashington 22 (Wall 10), Charlotte 23 (Batum 9). Total FoulsWashington 21, Charlotte 21. A18,450 (19,077).

Cavaliers 99, Pelicans 84

NEW ORLEANS (84): D.Cunningham 2-6 0-0 6, Davis 11-20 2-4 24, Asik 3-4 0-0 6, Cole 10-19 4-4 26, Dejean-Jones 0-2 1-2 1, Anderson 2-11 2-2 6, Holiday 5-18 1-2 12, Gee 1-4 1-2 3, Douglas 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 34-87 11-16 84.

CLEVELAND (99): James 11-20 3-3 27, Thompson 0-4 0-0 0, Mozgov 3-5 0-0 6, Irving 11-21 4-4 29, Smith 7-18 0-0 20, Varejao 1-4 0-0 2, Williams 3-7 0-0 7, Shumpert 2-7 0-0 5, Jefferson 1-4 0-0 3, J.Cunningham 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 39-90 7-7 99.

New Orleans 20 23 27 14— 84

Cleveland 28 26 20 25— 99

3-Point GoalsNew Orleans 5-23 (Cole 2-4, D.Cunningham 2-5, Holiday 1-4, Douglas 0-1, Gee 0-2, Dejean-Jones 0-2, Anderson 0-5), Cleveland 14-41 (Smith 6-16, Irving 3-9, James 2-5, Williams 1-2, Jefferson 1-3, Shumpert 1-6). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsNew Orleans 48 (Asik 12), Cleveland 61 (Thompson 15). AssistsNew Orleans 18 (Cole 5), Cleveland 21 (James 8). Total FoulsNew Orleans 16, Cleveland 17. A20,562 (20,562).

76ers 103, Nets 98

BROOKLYN (98): Johnson 2-8 4-4 9, Young 10-15 2-4 22, Lopez 5-11 7-7 17, Sloan 1-3 2-2 4, Ellington 4-9 2-2 11, Bogdanovic 3-8 3-3 9, Larkin 3-7 0-0 6, Robinson 1-5 1-2 3, Brown 5-5 2-2 15, Bargnani 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 35-76 23-26 98.

PHILADELPHIA (103): Covington 2-8 3-4 9, Noel 8-11 2-2 18, Okafor 9-16 4-4 22, McConnell 7-10 1-2 17, Stauskas 1-6 2-3 4, Marshall 2-5 0-0 4, Grant 3-5 2-2 9, Thompson 4-9 3-5 14, Canaan 2-9 0-0 6, Sampson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 38-81 17-22 103.

Brooklyn 12 27 25 34— 98

Philadelphia 24 17 28 34— 103

3-Point GoalsBrooklyn 5-15 (Brown 3-3, Ellington 1-4, Johnson 1-4, Larkin 0-1, Bogdanovic 0-3), Philadelphia 10-29 (Thompson 3-7, McConnell 2-2, Covington 2-6, Canaan 2-6, Grant 1-2, Sampson 0-2, Stauskas 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBrooklyn 47 (Young 10), Philadelphia 45 (Okafor 17). AssistsBrooklyn 19 (Sloan 4), Philadelphia 17 (McConnell 6). Total FoulsBrooklyn 17, Philadelphia 21. TechnicalsYoung. A18,847 (20,318).

Cavaliers turn back rally to snap skid 02/06/16 [Last modified: Saturday, February 6, 2016 10:38pm]
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