Struggling Cavs continue to lose
CLEVELAND–The Cavaliers’long losing streak is almost history.
Cleveland’s slide reached 22 games–one shy of the NBA’s single-season record–as Danny Granger scored 23 points and Darren Collison added 22 to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 117-112 win over the Cavaliers, now winless in 2011 and losers of 32 of 33.
Unless they can win on Friday in Memphis, the Cavs(8-41)will match the league’s all-time mark for consecutive futility, a record shared by the 1995-96 expansion Vancouver Grizzlies and 1997-98 Denver Nuggets.
The Cavs had several chances to pull out their first win since Dec. 18, but Anthony Parker missed a runner in the lane with 18.8 seconds left and Granger put it away by making four free throws in the final 17.1 seconds.
Ramon Sessions scored 25 points and Antawn Jamison had 21 for Cleveland.
Thunder 104, Hornets 93
OKLAHOMA CITY–Kevin Durant continued a scoring tear with 43 points and 10 rebounds and led a key fourth-quarter run and Oklahoma City beat New Orleans.
Durant eclipsed 40 points for the third time in four games, and he leads the NBA with five 40-point games this season.
The league’s scoring leader hit two free throws, a jumper and a 3-pointer from the right wing, and then a driving foul-line jumper during a 10-2 run that put the Thunder in control midway through the fourth quarter.
David West had 20 points and 15 rebounds and Chris Paul scored 15 points for New Orleans, which has lost three of four following a 10-game winning streak.
The win put Oklahoma City a half-game ahead of the Hornets for fourth place in the Western Conference and clinched the season series for the Thunder.
Mavericks 113, Knicks 97
NEW YORK–Dirk Nowitzki had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and Dallas took control in the third quarter before beating New York for its sixth straight victory.
Jose Barea added 22 points and Tyson Chandler had 15 points and 11 boards for the Mavericks, who outscored the Knicks 26-6 to open the second half and went on to their fifth consecutive win in New York.
This one wasn’t as dominant as the Mavs’128-78 rout on Jan 24, 2010, their most lopsided win ever and the Knicks’worst loss on their home floor. But Dallas was just as impressive in the first 7?minutes of the third quarter en route to its 16th win in the past 18 meetings overall.
Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points and Amare Stoudemire finished with 21, but missed all five shots in the second half before leaving for good as the Knicks went deep into their bench.
Rockets 97, Jazz 96
SALT LAKE CITY–Kevin Martin scored on a three-point play with 6.9 seconds left and finished with 22 points to lead Houston over Utah.
C.J. Miles missed a last-second 3-pointer that would have won it for the Jazz, who were without starters Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko.
Utah outscored Houston 19-7 over the final six minutes of the third quarter to take an 82-79 lead into the fourth.
But the Jazz couldn’t match the Rockets from beyond the arc.
Houston made 11 of 22 on the night, while the Jazz were just 1 of 11 on 3-pointers.
Bulls 106, Clippers 88
LOS ANGELES–Derrick Rose scored 32 points and Chicago beat the Clippers for their sixth straight victory, snapping Los Angeles’nine-game home winning streak.
The Bulls never trailed as they began a five-game road trip with their 23rd victory in 29 games–a stretch that began one game after Carlos Boozer returned to the lineup from a broken right hand. Luol Deng scored 26 points and Boozer added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bulls’34-14 start is their best since 1997-98, when they had the same record after 48 games en route to their sixth NBA title. They are tied with Miami for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, three games behind Bosto
Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, the rookie’s 40th double-double of the season and 34th in 35 games–but he missed nine of 13 free throws.
Grizzlies 102, Timberwolves 84
MINNEAPOLIS–Rudy Gay had 22 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, and Zach Randolph added 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead Memphis over Minnesota.
Sam Young scored 18 points and the Grizzlies dominated the league’s best rebounding team on the boards, 47-38, to win their fourth straight game.
Michael Beasley scored 19 points for the Timberwolves and Kevin Love had just 10 points and 10 rebounds, narrowly getting his 34th straight double-double. Love is hoping to make the Western Conference All-Star team, but he was thoroughly outplayed by Randolph, one of his primary competitors for a spot.
Bobcats 97, Pistons 87
AUBURN HILLS, Mich.–Stephen Jackson scored a season-high 39 points and Charlotte beat Detroit.
Former Pistons center Kwame Brown added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Detroit, which lost its fourth in a row, was missing Rodney Stuckey(shoulder)and Jason Maxiell(back). Ben Gordon led the Pistons with 20 points and Tayshaun Prince added 16.
Suns 92, Bucks 77
PHOENIX–Marcin Gortat had 19 points and 11 rebounds and the Suns beat Milwaukee for its 23rd consecutive loss in Phoenix.
The depleted Bucks, with Andrew Bogut a game-time scratch because of a bruised knee and Drew Gooden out four to six weeks for foot surgery, shot a season-low 31 percent and had to heat up in the fourth quarter to get the number that high.
Milwaukee trailed 52-31 at the half and was down by as many as 25 in the third quarter. Trailing 71-53 after three, the Bucks started the fourth with a 12-4 run to cut it to 74-65 but got no closer.
Corey Maggette and Ersan Ilyasova each scored 15 points for the Bucks. Grant Hill scored 16 and Jared Dudley 15 for the Suns. Channing Frye added 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Nuggets 109, Trail Blazers 90
DENVER–Nene had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups scored 20 points each and Denver beat Portland.
Wesley Matthews had 19 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and nine rebounds for Portland.
The injury-riddled Blazers suffered another blow when Matthews sprained his right ankle late in the second quarter. Matthews, who scored 17 points in his first 18 minutes, rolled his ankle as he planted his right foot on a drive to the bucket with just over two minutes remaining in the half. He walked to the locker room with assistance.
Matthews started the second half but left after 19 seconds and one defensive possession. He returned to start the fourth quarter but scored just two points.
76ers 106, Nets 92
NEWARK, N.J.–Lou Williams scored 26 points and Jrue Holiday had 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double to lead Philadelphia over New Jersey.
Jodie Meeks added 10 of his 15 points in a 14-2 third-quarter run that broke the game open and led to the ejection of Nets coach Avery Johnson for arguing a non-call after Nets point guard Devin Harris apparently was fouled by Elton Brand.
Andre Iguodala added 16 points and Brand had 15 and 10 rebounds for the 76ers, who won their fifth in six games and beat the Nets for the third time in as many meetings this season.
Harris, Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries all had 16 points for New Jersey, which lost for only the second time in its past seven home games.
Hawks 100, Raptors 87
ATLANTA–Joe Johnson scored a season-high 37 points, Josh Smith had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Atlanta handed Toronto its 13th straight loss.
The Hawks have won two of three and five of eight.
Toronto’s losing streak is the team’s longest since it dropped 13 in a row from Feb. 12-March 7, 2002.
Amir Johnson scored 20 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16 for Toronto, which dropped to 5-22 on the road.