Cavs' 'Big Three' pace triumph
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — For the first time all season, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving each reached 20 points in a game.
That was a big reason why the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled to another high-scoring win.
Love scored 29 points, Irving had 28 and the Cavaliers beat the Detroit Pistons 114-106 on Friday night. James had 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
"We always talk about, it starts and ends with the 'Big Three,' and those two guys got it done," James said. "I filled in, did what I needed to do to help us win."
The Cavaliers have won three straight since losing to Chicago in Tyronn Lue's first game as Cleveland's coach. Lue wants the Cavs to pick up the pace offensively, and they seem to be responding. Cleveland has scored at least 114 points in each of the past three games.
James shrugged off a rare missed dunk in the third quarter and surpassed the 26,000-point mark during that period, becoming the youngest player to do so at 31 years, 30 days. He also moved into the NBA's top 20 in career assists, passing Derek Harper.
Andre Drummond had 20 points and eight rebounds for Detroit.
Cleveland has the best record in the Eastern Conference at 33-12, but it's hardly been a smooth ride of late for the defending conference champions. Lue took over when coach David Blatt was fired, and Cleveland ended up with only one player (James) picked for the All-Star team.
Love was left out when the All-Star reserves were announced Thursday, but put up his second-highest scoring total of the season a night later.
"They played really, really well," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. "So, it's not all on us. I mean, they were terrific."
KNICKS 102, SUNS 84: At New York, Carmelo Anthony had 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in his return from a two-game absence, and New York snapped a four-game losing streak. Kristaps Porzingis also rejoined the lineup with seven points and seven rebounds, and the Knicks sent the Suns to their 13th straight road loss. Anthony had sat out with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, and Porzingis missed his first game Thursday with an upper respiratory illness.
CELTICS 113, MAGIC 94: At Boston, Kelly Olynyk and Marcus Smart scored 16 points apiece as the Boston Celtics won a season-high fifth straight game. Jae Crowder and Evan Turner each added 15 points, and Isaiah Thomas had 14 points and eight assists in just 27 minutes. Led by Olynyk, who scored nine points in the fourth quarter, the Celtics seized control by starting the period on a 22-4 run and pushing their lead as high as 27.
HEAT 107, BUCKS 103: At Milwaukee, Dwyane Wade scored 24 points and hit a long jumper with 44.5 seconds left, and the Miami Heat won their third straight road game. Wade led a balanced scoring effort with all five Miami starters scoring in double figures. Chris Bosh added 20. Wade's step-back jumper from just inside the arc gave Miami a 103-101 lead. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 28 points.
MAVERICKS 91, NETS 79: At Dallas, Chandler Parsons had 19 points and a season-high 10 rebounds while Deron Williams struggled in his first game against his former team. Parsons led the Mavericks in scoring for the fifth time in six games and is averaging 24 points during that span. Williams, who sat out a visit to Brooklyn in December with a left hamstring strain, scored eight points on 3-of-14 shooting. Brook Lopez scored 28 points to lead the Nets.
THUNDER 116, ROCKETS 108: At Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook's sixth triple-double of the season for the Thunder. Westbrook finished with 26 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the 25th triple-double of his career. Kevin Durant had 33 points and 12 rebounds and Enes Kanter scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half for the Thunder, who have won 10 of 11 overall and six straight at home. James Harden had 33 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Rockets.
JAZZ 103, TIMBERWOLVES 90: At Salt Lake City, Rodney Hood scored 22 points, Derrick Favors had 20 in his return to the starting lineup and the Utah Jazz beat the Minnesota Timberwolves to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly three weeks. The Timberwolves kept it close until late in the third quarter, when the Jazz closed on a 14-0 run that started with Favors' putback dunk and ended with Trey Burke's 3-pointer.
CLIPPERS 105, LAKERS 93: At Los Angeles, Chris Paul scored 27 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Lakers for their franchise-record ninth straight victory over their Staples Center co-tenant. Austin Rivers added 17 points off the bench for the Clippers, who improved to 14-3 without Blake Griffin. Julius Randle had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers.