James' triple-double powers Cavaliers
CLEVELAND — LeBron James recorded a triple-double with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, Kyrie Irving scored 27 of his 32 in the second half and Cleveland's "Big 3" dominated in a 118-111 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.
Kevin Love made six 3-pointers and added 22 points for the Cavs, who were back at Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since Oct. 30, when Cleveland welcomed James home after four years in Miami. He failed to play up to the monumental event, going 5 of 15 and committing eight turnovers in a stunning loss to the New York Knicks.
James wouldn't allow a repeat performance. After the Cavs returned from a four-game road trip, James went on his Twitter account and told Cleveland fans, "I owe y'all one."
"It worked out. It's good when you put something out there and it comes true," he said. "I owed them one, and many more as well. Tonight we took care of business."
James and Irving dominated in the second half, combining for 49 points — 30 in the third quarter when the Cavs overcame a nine-point deficit. Love, too, was huge after halftime, making four 3-pointers.
"This is special," said Irving, who added nine assists and had just one turnover in 40 minutes. "We played well as a group."
Anthony Davis scored 27 with 14 rebounds for the Pelicans, who beat defending NBA champion San Antonio on Saturday night and gave the Cavaliers all they could handle. Ryan Anderson added 32 points — 23 in the first half for New Orleans.
SPURS 89, CLIPPERS 85: At Los Angeles, Kawhi Leonard tied his career high with 26 points despite playing with only one good eye, and the San Antonio Spurs closed with a rush.
Leonard's vision has been affected by a case of conjunctivitis. Still, he pulled down 10 rebounds and gave the defending NBA champions their first lead with 1:44 left.
Tim Duncan added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Tony Parker scored nine of his 13 in the fourth quarter for the Spurs.
San Antonio finished the game on a 14-0 run, giving Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Parker their 500th career victory together. They are second among trios in NBA history to Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, who won 540 games with the Boston Celtics.
BULLS 102, PISTONS 91: At Chicago, Derrick Rose had 24 points and seven assists in his return to the lineup to lead balanced Chicago.
Rose was 9 for 20 from the field in 32 minutes after being sidelined by sprained ankles. The 2011 NBA MVP had missed four of the previous five games after he was injured in an overtime loss to Cleveland on Oct. 31.
Pau Gasol had 17 points and 15 rebounds for Chicago, and Joakim Noah finished with 13 points, 14 boards and six assists. The Bulls outrebounded the Pistons 49-46 after they had lost the battle on the glass in the previous six games, rankling hard-nosed coach Tom Thibodeau.
HAWKS 91, KNICKS 85: At New York, Paul Millsap scored 19 points, Dennis Schroder extended his best stretch in the NBA with two big baskets in the final 2 minutes, and Atlanta sent New York to its fifth straight loss.
Kyle Korver added 17 points as Atlanta finished a home-and-home sweep, including a 103-96 win Saturday at home.
Schroder, a second-year guard from Germany, scored a career-high 14 points, two nights after setting his previous best with 11.
Carmelo Anthony had 25 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Knicks, who came in averaging 92 points, tied for worst in the NBA, and barely surpassed their previous low of 80 in their season-opening loss to Chicago.
PACERS 97, JAZZ 86: At Indianapolis, Roy Hibbert scored a season-high 29 points to help Indiana beat Utah, ending the Pacers’ six-game losing streak.
A.J. Price had 22 points and Lavoy Allen added 12 — also season highs for both players — as the Pacers won for the first time since the season opener. Allen also had 15 rebounds and Hibbert grabbed five.