NBA roundup

Cleveland's LeBron James shoots against the Thunder in the second half of Tuesday's game in Oklahoma City. Cleveland won, 120-112. (Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo)
Cleveland's LeBron James shoots against the Thunder in the second half of Tuesday's game in Oklahoma City. Cleveland won, 120-112. (Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo)

Cavaliers 120, Thunder 112

LeBron James and his new teammates are playing like old buddies.

James scored 37 points, and new-look Cleveland got a much different result this time against Oklahoma City in a victory on Tuesday night.

Cleveland claimed its second straight win since adding George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in trades, and their fourth straight victory overall.

The Cavaliers lost to the Thunder 148-124 on Jan. 20 with a very different roster.

"It's a change of scenery and they're just trying to take advantage of it," James said. "For the guys that were here, we're just trying to make them as comfortable as possible. Make the transition as seamless as possible."

Thunder coach Billy Donovan said the changes create a lot of problems.

"I think their ability to space it, drive it, kick it, their skill level, I think — not that it was bad before, but I think the speed, probably the tempo and the pace they are playing at is a little bit faster," he said.

Each of Cleveland's additions made solid contributions against Oklahoma City. Hill started at point guard and went 24 minutes without a turnover. Hood and Clarkson each scored 14 points and Nance had 13 points and nine rebounds, including eight offensive boards.

James praised Cleveland general manager Koby Altman for getting what the team needed at the trade deadline.

"It just wasn't working out for us. He made the changes he felt best fit our team," James said. "Then, it's on me to make sure the new guys that come in, that they fit in and make it as seamless as possible. That's my job. This is the third game in a row my voice is gone. So I am just trying to have communication at an all-time high for us."

Holdover guard J.R. Smith added 18 points for the Cavaliers. It was Cleveland's second straight road win against top competition — the Cavaliers rolled past Boston 121-99 on Sunday.

"We've got to keep working," Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said. "It's a process. You've got to keep playing well, keep getting better and hit that stride late."

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.

Westbrook had 12 assists and seven rebounds, but he made just 7 of 19 shots.

"This guy has been an ironman for so long, but when you miss two games and practices and you have one day to get back, there could have been, for him, trying to work his way back in to where he was,'" Donovan said. "He's never going to make an excuse about his ankle or how he feels or anything else. He gave everything, as he always does, to try to win."

James scored 14 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter, including two 3-pointers, to give Cleveland a 78-68 lead. He was 6 for 6 from the field during that stretch. The Thunder responded with an 8-0 run to get back into the game. Cleveland took a 91-87 edge into the fourth quarter.

The Cavaliers took control in the fourth, and a layup by James after driving on George pushed the Cavaliers ahead 115-106 with 49 seconds to play.

The Thunder trimmed their deficit to five in the final minute and could have come closer, but Alex Abrines missed a 3-pointer, and Nance got free for a dunk to seal the win for Cleveland.

The Cavaliers led 62-57 at halftime. James had 16 points, four rebounds and five assists, and Smith had 15 points on five 3-pointers. Adams scored 15 points before the break for Oklahoma City.

Rockets 126, Timberwolves 108

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

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.

C.J. Miles added 11 points, but the Raptors failed to extend its franchise-record five-game streak of winning by 15 or more points.

Goran Dragic scored 28 points and James Johnson had 16 for the Heat, who lost for the sixth time in seven games. Dwyane Wade had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Hassan Whiteside collected 10 points and 10 boards.

Bucks 97, Hawks 92

Khris Middleton had 21 points to lead a balanced attack for Milwaukee, and All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo hit two key buckets in the final three-plus minutes.

Tyler Zeller added 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting in his first game in Milwaukee since joining the team on the road before the trade deadline last week. The Bucks improved to 9-2 since Joe Prunty took over as interim coach following the firing of Jason Kidd, getting back in the race for a top-four playoff seed in the East.

Dennis Schroder scored 18 points for the Hawks, and Ersan Ilyasova had nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. Ilyasova spearheaded a late rally in which Atlanta erased a 12-point deficit and tied it at 84 on Kent Bazemore's 3-pointer with 3:30 left.

Kings 114, Mavericks 109

Zach Randolph scored 22 points, and Sacramento used a big first half to beat Dallas.

Bogdan Bogdanovich added 19 points for the Kings, who have won four of five in Dallas after losing 22 in a row here from 2003 to 2016. Seven Kings scored in double figures.

J.J. Barea led the Mavericks with 19 points, and Harrison Barnes and Dwight Powell each scored 18.

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