Love, Irving lead Cavs to ninth in a row
CLEVELAND – Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving combined for 44 points, and LeBron James scored 19 in his return from a one-game absence, as the Cleveland Cavaliers stayed hot, beating the Sacramento Kings 101-90 on Friday night for their ninth consecutive victory.
One night before his return to Target Center, Love led Cleveland with 23 points, including 16 in the first quarter. He was 9-for-17 from the field and had 10 rebounds. Irving added 21 points.
James returned after missing Wednesday's game due to a sprained right wrist. He was 7-for-16, but made five consecutive shots, including a three-pointer and a dunk as Cleveland put the game away in the fourth quarter. A trainer placed a brace on James' wrist in the third quarter, which he wore the remainder of the game. "It was a little sore, obviously, being in live action, but it was good," James said.
DeMarcus Cousins, who was named to the Western Conference All-Star team Friday to replace the injured Kobe Bryant, scored 21 points and had 13 rebounds.
•DEROZAN LIFTS RAPTORS: DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points as the Raptors beat the Nets 127-122 in overtime.
•GORDON LIFTS NEW ORLEANS: Eric Gordon scored 28 points and the Pelicans stopped the Clippers' six-game winning streak 108-103.
•SUNS RISE: Eric Bledsoe scored 23 points and Goran Dragic 21 to lead the Suns over the Bulls 99-93.
• JAZZ UPSETS WARRIORS: Gordon Hayward scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as Utah upset Golden State 110-100.
•ROCKETS' RED GLARE: Donatas Motiejunas scored 10 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Rockets over the host Celtics 93-87 for their fourth consecutive victory.
•HAWKS GLIDE TO 18TH IN A ROW: Atlanta overcame 37 points by Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge to extend its franchise-record winning streak to 18 games by beating the visiting Trail Blazers 105-99.