NBA-Highlights of Thursday’s NBA games

Dec 21 (The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Thursday’s National Basketball Association games:

Cavaliers 115, Bulls 112

LeBron James scored 34 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers outlasted the Chicago Bulls 115-112 on Thursday night.

Kevin Love added 27 points and seven rebounds for Cleveland, which doesn’t play again until their NBA Finals rematch with Golden State on Christmas. They’ve won 19 of 21 games and have scored at least 100 points in 26 straight.

Chicago, led by Lauri Markkanen’s 25 points, had a seven-game win streak halted.

There were 24 lead changes by the end of the third quarter and 26 in the game. James scored 11 in the fourth quarter, and his two free throws with 11.1 seconds left put the Cavaliers ahead by three.

Raptors 114, 76ers 109

DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 45 points, including five in a pivotal 10-2 flurry late in the game, as Toronto rallied for a victory over short-handed Philadelphia.

DeRozan was 6 of 9 on 3-point attempts. His six triples were a career high.

Kyle Lowry added 23 points for the Raptors, who erased a 22-point third-quarter deficit to win its fifth straight and 11th in 12 games.

Ben Simmons had 20 points to lead the Sixers, who were without center Joel Embiid, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, for the third straight game because of back tightness. Starting guard J.J. Redick also sat out with hamstring tightness.

Knicks 102, Celtics 93

Michael Beasley had 32 points and 12 rebounds, and Enes Kanter added 14 points and 10 rebounds as New York beat Boston.

Kyrie Irving scored 32 points and Jayson Tatum had 17 for the Celtics, who are 4-5 since a 22-4 start and have dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.

Kristaps Porzingis returned from a two-game absence with one of the worst outings of his career, an 0-of-11 shooting effort. The Knicks, who have won five of six, went on a 15-6 run in the fourth quarter to take control of what had been a back-and-forth game.

Jazz 100, Spurs 89

Rodney Hood scored 29 points and made several critical fourth-quarter baskets to lift Utah past San Antonio.

Derrick Favors added 14 points and nine rebounds, and Ricky Rubio chipped in 11 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Jazz, who snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in the last nine games.

Bryn Forbes led the Spurs with 12 points. Four other players each scored 11 points as San Antonio had a three-game winning streak end.

Suns 97, Grizzlies 95

TJ Warren scored 27 points and Troy Daniels hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to give Phoenix a win over Memphis.

The Suns outscored the Grizzlies 18-14 in an ugly fourth quarter, but Phoenix got the basket that counted. Greg Monroe ran down a missed 3-pointer, turned and found Daniels, a former Memphis player, alone in front of the Grizzlies’ bench for Phoenix’s 10th 3-pointer of the night.

Daniels finished with 14 points for the Suns, who have won three of their past four games and won at home for the first time since Nov. 19.

Evans had 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Memphis, which had all five starters score in double figures but has lost nine straight on the road dating to Nov. 7 at Portland and 19 of their past 21 games overall.

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