Love helps Cavaliers stop three-game skid

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kevin Love scored 27 points, Kyrie Irving had 23 and the Cleveland Cavaliers stopped a three-game losing streak with a 91-87 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Tristan Thompson added 14 points and 14 rebounds as the Cavaliers won their first game since announcing LeBron James would miss two weeks because of knee and back strains. Dion Waiters finished with 17 points.

Love returned to the lineup after missing one start with back spasms and played 38 minutes. He was nine of 15 from the field and helped the Cavaliers (19-14) take control of the game with three consecutive three-pointers in the third quarter after an injury scare.

First-year Cleveland coach David Blatt leaned heavily on his starters, using a seven-man rotation. Thompson played 43 minutes and Irving played 42. Gerald Henderson led Charlotte (10-24) with 14 points. The Hornets have lost five in a row.


•RONDO LEADS MAVS IN BOSTON: Rajon Rondo scored the Mavericks' first 10 points in his return to Boston, finishing with a season-high 29 to lead Dallas to a 119-101 victory over the Celtics. Rondo had a career-high five three-pointers and also finished with six rebounds and five assists in his first game at TD Garden in an opponent's uniform. The rebuilding Celtics traded the four-time All-Star to Dallas last month. Monta Ellis scored 22 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 17 and Tyson Chandler collected 16 rebounds for the Mavericks.

•PLUMLEE SPARKS NETS: Mason Plumlee had 18 points and nine rebounds, and the Nets beat the Magic 100-98 for their third consecutive victory. Brook Lopez and Deron Williams added 16 points apiece. The victory gets the Nets back to .500 for the first time since November.

•PELICANS POUND ROCKETS: Ryan Anderson scored 22 points, Tyreke Evans added 21 and New Orleans routed Houston Rockets 111-83. Dante Cunningham added 13 points for New Orleans, which opened a double-digit lead in the second quarter and led by as much as 32 in the second half. Omer Asik grabbed 11 rebounds, and Anthony Davis accounted for three of the Pelicans' eight blocked shots. Dwight Howard scored 12 points and James Harden had 11 for Houston, all in the first half. With his starters ineffective early in the third quarter, coach Kevin McHale opted to play reserves during most of the second half.

• PISTONS ADD TO KNICKS' PAIN: Brandon Jennings scored 29 points, Andre Drummond grabbed 20 rebounds and Detroit extended New York's losing streak to 10 games with a 97-81 victory. Cole Aldrich had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks, who were without Carmelo Anthony (sore left knee).

•DURANT ZEROES IN: Kevin Durant scored 34 points to help the Thunder beat the Wizards 109-102. Durant was 12-for-18 from the field in just 32 minutes, while Russell Westbrook chipped in 22 points.