James wins on return to Cleveland


LeBron James scored 32 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out seven assists to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a come-from-behind 109-105 win over the Cavaliers in his return to Cleveland last night.

The Lakers, sparked by James, went on a 16-3 run late in the fourth quarter to erase a 99-91 Cavaliers lead. All five Los Angeles starters scored in double figures, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 13 off the bench.

The sellout crowd at the Quicken Loans Arena gave James a rousing standing ovation during the team’s introduction, thanking him for bringing Cleveland its first championship – a memorable title over Golden State in 2016, ending a 52-year drought.

After the game, James said, “To come back and get the reception that I got tonight, it means a lot to not only myself, but for my family and friends that were here tonight, and my family that’s back home in L.A. as well.”

Thunder 123, Warriors 95

Dennis Schroder scored 10 of his game-high 32 points in a second-quarter run that gave Oklahoma City Thunder the lead for good in a 123-95 blowout of Golden State Warriors at Oakland, California. The Warriors have lost four straight for the first time under head coach Steve Kerr.

Russell Westbrook recorded a triple-double (11 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists), Steven Adams and Jerami Grant had double-doubles, and Paul George poured in 25 points as the Thunder used balance to overcome a two-man show by Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson (27 points apiece).

The only downside for Oklahoma City was an ugly injury sustained by Hamidou Diallo. The rookie landed awkwardly on his left leg midway through the fourth quarter and was taken off on a stretcher.

James Harden scored 29 of his game-high 43 points in the second half, and Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to five games with a 126-124 victory over visiting Detroit Pistons.

Harden finished 10 of 20 from the floor and 19 of 19 from the foul line to offset a strong performance from Pistons forward Blake Griffin, who scored 19 fourth-quarter points en route to a 37-point, 11-rebound effort. Griffin hit 6 of 9 3-point attempts but also committed nine turnovers.

Andre Drummond added a double-double for the Pistons with 20 points and 11 rebounds. His counterpart for Houston, Clint Capela, also recorded a double-double (27 points, 15 boards).

Joel Embiid outdueled Anthony Davis as hosts Philadelphia 76ers extended their winning streak to four games and ended New Orleans Pelicans’ streak at three with a 121-120 win.

Embiid had 31 points and 19 rebounds, Ben Simmons added 22 points, Landry Shamet came off the bench to score 15, and Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick and Wilson Chandler scored 13 each.

Davis, who scored his 10,000th career point, finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds but missed a free throw that would have tied it with 2.5 seconds left. Jrue Holiday and E’Twaun More scored 30 apiece, and Holiday added 10 assists for the Pelicans, who had won six of their past seven.

Marc Gasol converted the game-tying and winning free throws with 0.7 seconds to play as part of his 20-point, 10-rebound performance, and Mike Conley poured in 30 points with nine assists as visiting Memphis Grizzlies outlasted San Antonio Spurs 104-103.

The lead see-sawed over the final 3 1/2 minutes until San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan canned a contested jumper over Conley with 1.2 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Memphis got the ball to Gasol, who was fouled by San Antonio’s Rudy Gay with 0.7 seconds to play and calmly made the free throws.

JaMychal Green added 12 points off the bench for Memphis, which has won five games in a row and seven of their past eight. DeRozan led the Spurs with 24 points and Gay added 21 for San Antonio, which has lost five of their past six games.

Other scores: Knicks 117, Celtics 109; Bucks 143, Trail Blazers 100; Nuggets 103, Timberwolves 101; Hornets 127, Pacers 109; Raptors 124, Hawks 108; Kings 119, Jazz 110; Mavericks 119, Nets 113; Bulls 124, Suns 116.

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