Cavs top Pelicans, Butler scores 52

By Sacha Pisani 3 January 2017
Cavs top Pelicans, Butler scores 52

LeBron James helped defending NBA champions the Cleveland Cavaliers past the New Orleans Pelicans, while Jimmy Butler posted 52 points for the Chicago Bulls.

James scored 26 points as the Cavaliers outlasted the Pelicans 90-82 on Monday.

All-Star Butler had a day out for the Bulls, who defeated the Charlotte Hornets 118-111.

Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green starred in the Golden State Warriors' 127-119 win over the Denver Nuggets.

James Harden put up a triple-double in the Houston Rockets' 101-91 victory against the Washington Wizards and the Oklahoma City Thunder lost 98-94 to the streaking Milwaukee Bucks.

 

SHORT-HANDED CAVS STILL TOO GOOD

Not even injuries and illnesses could derail the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

In the absence of injured star Kyrie Irving, while James (flu) and Kevin Love (food poisoning) battled illness, the Cavs rallied to beat the Pelicans.

The Cavs overcame a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter for their 13th win in 15 games, ending New Orleans' four-game unbeaten run in the process.

 

BUTLER HAS GAME TO REMEMBER

The Bulls guard fell just a point short of his career high against the Philadelphia 76ers as he inspired Chicago.

Butler scored 20 points in the first half and added 17 in the final four minutes of the game, while recording 12 rebounds and six assists.

The Hornets were led by Kemba Walker's 34 points and 11 rebounds.

 

QUARTET LEAD WARRIORS

Thompson guided the Warriors with a team-high 25 points and Green finished with 15 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in a triple-double display.

Reigning MVP Curry scored 22 points and Durant added 21.

Nikola Jokic and Wilson Chandler had 21 points apiece for the Nuggets. 

 

CURRY, THE THREE-POINT KING

 

THUNDER SILENCED, HARDEN CARRIES ROCKETS

A pair of free throws from rookie Malcolm Brogdon helped the Bucks beat the Thunder, despite 30 points from Oklahoma City's Westbrook.

The Rockets overcame the Wizards thanks to 23 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds from Harden, who notched his ninth triple-double of the season.

Elsewhere, the Utah Jazz defeated the Brooklyn Nets 101-89, the Orlando Magic trumped the New York Knicks 115-103 and the Los Angeles Clippers topped the Phoenix Suns 109-98.

 

SPURS HOST RAPTORS

Currently the number two 2 teams in their respective conferences, the Toronto Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs meet on Tuesday as the NBA season nears its midway point. Kawhi Leonard hopes to help slow down the Raptors back court as he returns to full strength after missing two of his last three games with a stomach illness. 

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Sacha Pisani

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