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NBA roundup: Cavaliers win sixth straight

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CLEVELAND — LeBron James outdueled Kevin Durant in the only battle this season between the two most recent MVP award winners, and the Cleveland Cavaliers won their sixth straight with a 108-98 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

James, a forward, had 34 points and seven rebounds, and Kevin Love had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Cavs.

Durant, a forward, had 32 points and nine assists, and guard Russell Westbrook had 22 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Thunder, who closed a five-game trip through the Eastern Conference with a pair of losses.

After going scoreless in the third quarter, James scored 12 points in the fourth, including eight within the first 2 1/2 minutes to give the Cavs a 91-80 lead with 9:41 left.

Guard Kyrie Irving had 21 points and six assists and guard J.R. Smith scored 14 points for the Cavs, who led by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter.

Heat 96, Bulls 84

CHICAGO – Backup center Hassan Whiteside notched a triple-double off the bench with 14 points, 13 rebounds and a franchise-record 12 blocked shots to lead Miami.

Heat guard Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 26 points, and center Chris Bosh added 20 for Miami (20-24).

The Bulls lost for the seventh time in the past 11 games. Chicago shot 35.6 percent (31 of 87) and dropped to 13-11 on its home court. Guard Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 19 points.

Hawks 112, Timberwolves 100

ATLANTA — Forward Paul Millsap and center Al Horford continued their campaigns for the NBA All-Star Game by scoring 20 and 19 points, respectively, to help extend the Hawks’ franchise-best winning streak to 16 games.

Millsap was 8 of 12 from the field and added five rebounds, six assists and four steals. Horford was 8 for 9 from the field with six rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Both are in contention to be added to the NBA All-Star team when the reserves are announced this week.

Atlanta (37-8) has won 30 of its last 32 games and maintained its seven-game lead in the Eastern Conference.

Minnesota lost its fourth straight game and has now dropped 20 of its last 22.

Clippers 120, Suns 100

PHOENIX — Guard Chris Paul collected 23 points and 12 assists and the Los Angeles Clippers used a 15-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to win their fourth straight game.

Forward Blake Griffin matched Paul with 23 points and added seven rebounds and seven assists. Guard J.J. Redick added 20 points, including five during the decisive run that put the game away for the Clippers.

Guard Isaiah Thomas had 25 points for Phoenix, including 10 straight early in the fourth quarter when the Suns whittled an 89-77 deficit to 96-94. But the Clippers took over from there.

Pelicans 109, Mavericks 106

NEW ORLEANS — Forward Anthony Davis scored a team-high 28 points and made a critical interception of an inbounds pass and two fouls shots with 9.4 seconds left to spark New Orleans.

Davis’ two free throws with 12.3 seconds left gave New Orleans the lead for good, 107-106. Then, when Dallas point guard Rajon Rondo tried to inbound the ball from halfcourt, Davis swooped high to intercept the pass intended for forward Dirk Nowitzki and was fouled on the play.

He added two more free throws to give the Pelicans (23-21) their first victory in 10 games against Dallas (30-15).

Dallas was led by guard Monta Ellis, who scored a game-high 36 points on 16 of 26 shooting. Nowitzki added 24.

Pacers 106, Magic 99

ORLANDO — Rookie reserve Damjan Rudez scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, sparking Indiana Pacers to a come-from-behind victory.

Rudez, from Croatia, finished with 18 points. He hit four 3-point baskets in the fourth, helping the Pacers (16-30) snap their seven-game losing streak.

Forward David West had 20 points to lead the Pacers, who trailed by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter.

Center Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 27 points and seven rebounds. Guard Victor Oladipo had 18 points.

Raptors 114, Pistons 110

TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan, a guard who started at small forward, scored 25 points to help Toronto win its second straight game.

The Pistons (17-28), who lost point guard Brandon Jennings for the season to an Achilles tendon injury, got a career-high 35 points from point guard D.J. Augustin in losing their second in a row.

Center Jonas Valanciunas scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who led by just two points in the final minute before forward Terrence Ross clinched the win with a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left.

Spurs 101, Bucks 95

SAN ANTONIO — Tim Duncan scored 20 points and helped San Antonio overcome a sluggish start to claim its fifth straight home victory.

Spurs forward Boris Diaw added 14 points off the bench and forward Kawhi Leonard tallied 19 points as San Antonio won for the sixth time in its last seven games overall.

Forward Khris Middleton scored 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting in the loss for the Bucks, who led by as many as 12 points in the first half and were ahead by 10 points in the third quarter.

Warriors 114, Celtics 111

OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson followed up his record-setting performance with a 31-point game Sunday, leading Golden State to a hard-earned vicgory.

The win was the 19th in a row at home for the Warriors (36-6), but the three-point margin of victory ended Golden State’s NBA-record run of 11 straight wins at Oracle Arena by at least 13 points.

Coming off a game in which he scored 37 points in the third quarter alone, Thompson was much more balanced Sunday, scoring five, eight, seven and 11 points per period en route to his game-high total.

Power forward Jared Sullinger had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics, who got the margin down to three points before Thompson hit a pair of free throws with 3.3 seconds left.

Wizards 117, Nuggets 115 (OT)

DENVER — Forward Kris Humphries had a season-high 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, guard John Wall had 19 points and 16 assists, and the Washington Wizards held on in overtime.

Forward Paul Pierce scored 19 point for the Wizards, who ended a two-game skid.

Guard Ty Lawson returned to the lineup with 31 points and 12 assists but missed a game-tying jumper with 1.1 seconds left in overtime.

With the score tied in regulation time, Denver forward Kenneth Faried was fouled going to the basket, but he missed both foul shots with 1.4 seconds left, sending the game to overtime.

Denver lost its sixth straight game.

Rockets 99, Lakers 87

LOS ANGELES — Even without center Dwight Howard, Houston rolled to an easy win over Los Angeles. Guard James Harden scored 37 points,

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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