LEBRON James scored 37 points, and the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers got a much different result this time against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 120-112 victory on Tuesday night.
It was Cleveland’s second straight win since adding George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in trades, and their fourth straight victory overall.
J.R. Smith added 18 points for the Cavaliers, who lost to the Thunder 148-124 on Jan. 20 with a very different roster.
Paul George scored 25 points and Carmelo Anthony 24 for the Thunder. Steven Adams added 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook scored 21 points. Westbrook and Anthony had missed the past two games with sprained ankles.
Rockets 126, Timberwolves 108
In Minneapolis, James Harden had 34 points, 12 assists and six rebounds, and Houston beat Minnesota for its ninth straight victory.
Ryan Anderson scored 21 points off the bench as the Rockets (43-13) snapped Minnesota’s 13-game home winning streak and pulled within a half-game of the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the NBA. Houston has won for the 16 of its last 18 games.
The Rockets made 10 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, when they scored 42 points.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 35 points and 12 rebounds in Minnesota’s first home loss since Dec. 16 against Phoenix. Jeff Teague added 25 points and eight assists, and Jamal Crawford came off the bench to score 11 points after starting 0 for 6 from the floor.
Raptors 115, Heat 112
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, Kyle Lowry had 22 and Toronto beat Miami for its sixth straight win.
Toronto (40-16) improved its NBA-best home record to 24-4 and ensured it will be the top team in the Eastern Conference at the All-Star break.
Serge Ibaka had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who also won six straight between Nov. 25 and Dec. 10 and again between Dec. 13 and 23. (RSC)