Lue, Cavs pick up win
CLEVELAND — Tyronn Lue is three games into his tenure as a head coach — and on his way to the All-Star Game.
An interesting week in Cleveland took another odd turn.
LeBron James scored 21 points before sitting out — and dancing — in the fourth quarter, Kevin Love added 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the Cavaliers stormed away in the second half for a 115-93 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Sluggish for the first 24 minutes, the Cavs opened the second half with a 12-0 run and sent Phoenix to its 17th loss in 19 games.
Cleveland improved to 2-1 under Lue, who took over last week when David Blatt was surprisingly fired halfway through his second season despite an NBA Finals appearance last season and an overall 83-40 record. The Cavs' second win under Lue means he and the Cavs' coaching staff will represent the Eastern Conference on Feb. 14 in Toronto.
Like everything else that has come his way, Lue took it in stride.
"It's a tribute to coach Blatt and the players and the hard work the assistant coaches put in to get us to this point," Lue said. "I know my coaches are excited, and I know it's going to be a surreal moment."
And while it's clearly a unique situation, Love shrugged it off as nothing special.
"He's won 66 percent of his games so far, right?" Love joked. "I don't think it'll be his last time coaching the All-Star Game."
Rookie Devin Booker paced the Suns with 16 points and P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris had 13 apiece.
J.R. Smith added 18 points as Cleveland, which led by 28 in the fourth, handed Phoenix its 12th straight loss on the road.
WARRIORS 127, MAVERICKS 107: At Oakland, Calif., Klay Thompson scored a season-high 45 points, Stephen Curry got going after halftime and so did the Golden State Warriors, who avenged one of their four losses this season.
Curry hit three quick 3-pointers after intermission as Golden State overcame a sluggish first half, and the reigning MVP finished with a modest 14 points on a night the Warriors' role players and bench provided a balanced effort.
Thompson had his second 40-point game of the season and sixth of his career, shooting 14 of 20, 7 for 12 on 3-pointers and making all 10 of his free throws.
Chandler Parsons scored 23 points for Dallas, which handed the Warriors their second loss of the season, 114-91 on Dec. 30.
SPURS 130, ROCKETS 99: At San Antonio, LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and San Antonio rebounded from its worst loss in three years to bash Houston and remain undefeated at home.
San Antonio (39-7) has won 25 straight at home to open the season and 34 consecutive dating back to last season.
Aldridge bounced back — as did the rest of the Spurs — after he was held to five points and three rebounds in a 30-point loss to Golden State on Monday.
San Antonio had 32 assists and shot 56 percent from the field in snapping Houston's three-game winning streak and handing the Rockets their worst loss of the season.
James Harden had 20 points and Dwight Howard added 13 for Houston.
CLIPPERS 85, HAWKS 83: At Atlanta, Jamal Crawford scored 21 points and Los Angeles won again without Blake Griffin, holding off mistake-prone Atlanta.
The Hawks turned it over a season-high 23 times but still had a chance to force overtime when Chris Paul lost the handle on an inbounds pass after Al Horford's free throw. Atlanta got it back with 6.7 seconds left and inbounded to Paul Millsap, who drove against Luc Mbah a Moute and got a good look at the basket but came up short on a running one-hander. The horn sounded as the Clippers celebrated their 14th win in 17 games.
Los Angeles won for the second straight night after word leaked that Griffin would be out 4-to-6 weeks, having broken his shooting hand by punching a staff member. He apologized for the incident on Twitter late Tuesday, and his teammates kept on winning.
DeAndre Jordan scored 13 points and grabbed 19 rebounds, foiling the Hawks' strategy to keep sending him to line by making 6 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 16 points.
THUNDER 126, TIMBERWOLVES 123: At Minneapolis, Kevin Durant had 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists, and hit two huge shots in the final two minutes to help Oklahoma City win a second-straight, fast-paced thriller.
Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds, while Enes Kanter had 23 points and 10 boards for the Thunder, who beat the Knicks in overtime the night before. Oklahoma City outrebounded Minnesota 47-31 to go home from a four-game road trip at 3-1.
Zach LaVine scored 35 points on 14-for-17 shooting, Andrew Wiggins added 20 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 19 points, 13 boards and five assists for the Timberwolves. Minnesota shot 55.6 percent and had 31 assists, but missed 10 free throws.
CELTICS 111, NUGGETS 103: At Boston, Avery Bradley matched his season high with 27 points, and Boston beat Denver for its fourth straight victory.
Kelly Olynyk added 17 points and seven rebounds. Isaiah Thomas finished with 16 points and five assists.
The victory ties a season-high win streak for the Celtics.
Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton led Denver with 23 apiece.
The Nuggets lost for the fourth time in five games.
PISTONS 110, 76ERS 97: At Auburn Hills, Mich., Andre Drummond had 25 points and 18 rebounds, and Detroit rallied to beat Philadelphia.
Drummond, who came into the game having gone 1 for 14 from the line in the last two games, even hit seven of his 12 free throws. Reggie Jackson added 27 points, while rookie Stanley Johnson had 18 off the bench.
Jeremi Grant scored 21 points for the Sixers, while Nerlens Noel had 20.
The 76ers played without starters Jahlil Okafor and JaKarr Sampson, who both missed their second game in two nights with the flu.
JAZZ 102, HORNETS 73: At Salt Lake City, Rodney Hood scored 24 points and Utah avenged a double-overtime loss to Charlotte last week.
Utah broke loose in the second quarter with a 20-2 run, highlighted by a pair of alley-oops from Hood to Rudy Gobert. Trevor Booker added a pair of dunks that pushed the lead to 38-22.
Charlotte worked the lead down to single digits in the third quarter, but a trio of 3-pointers from Trey Burke pushed the lead back up to 19.
Gordon Hayward finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Utah. Gobert grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked three shots.
Kemba Walker was held to 15 points after scoring a franchise-high 52 against the Jazz last week.