Irving leads Cavs, gets hurt

Published Dec. 30, 2016

CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving scored 32 and made two critical layups before leaving with a leg injury and Kevin Love scored 30, helping the Cavaliers hold off a late rally for a 124-118 victory Thursday over the Celtics.

Cleveland led by 20 in the third and 17 early in the fourth but couldn't close out the Celtics, who pulled within one three times in the final two minutes.

Irving, though, came up with his big baskets and the Cavs had to fend off Boston over the final 53 seconds as Cleveland's star guard grabbed his right hamstring and went to the bench. The severity of the injury was unclear.

LeBron James had 23 points and 11 assists for the Cavs, who won for the 11th time in 13 games. Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 31.

Game Highlights: Marc Gasol scored 25 and the host Grizzlies took advantage of Russell Westbrook's ejection, dominating the Thunder for a 114-80 victory. Westbrook, the league's top scorer at 31.7 per game, scored 21 before he was tossed midway through the third quarter when he was whistled for two quick technical fouls. … Nicolas Batum had 16 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, providing a spark during a big third quarter that carried the host Hornets to a 91-82 victory over the Heat. The Hornets outscored the Heat 31-17 in the quarter to take command.

Around the League: Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis' campaign to raise money through his blocks has generated $43,000 thus far for a New York-area youth basketball organization.