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Butler scores 10 straight points during critical stretch in win over Cavaliers
By AP - Jan 05,2017 - Last updated at Jan 05,2017
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James passes as Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler defends during their NBA game on Wednesday in Cleveland, Ohio (Reuters photo by Ken Blaze)
CLEVELAND — Jimmy Butler scored 10 straight points during a critical stretch in the fourth quarter, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 106-94 win Wednesday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had a less than 100 per cent LeBron James and were without stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
Butler, who was coming off a 52-point game against Charlotte, scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth as the Bulls held off Cleveland’s comeback.
Doug McDermott added 17 points for the Bulls, who made a season-high 13 3-pointers.
James, who has been battling a cold for several days, was questionable until about 20 minutes before the game, when the Cavs announced he would be the one — and only — member of Cleveland’s “Big 3” in uniform. He finished with 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 37 minutes.
Bucks 105, Knicks 104
Giannis Antetokounmpo made a turnaround jumper at the buzzer to give Milwaukee a victory over New York.
Antetokounmpo finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds, and he gave the Bucks a final possession when he knocked the ball off Derrick Rose and out of bounds with 8.6 seconds left. Officials originally ruled the ball was off the Bucks but reversed the call after video review.
Antetokounmpo handled things from there, calmly backing down Lance Thomas before turning and shooting from the foul line, the ball going in as time expired.
Carmelo Anthony had 30 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Knicks, who lost their sixth straight.
Warriors 125, Trail Blazers 117
Stephen Curry had 35 points with five 3-pointers, Kevin Durant scored 30 points and blocked three shots and Golden State beat Portland.
Zaza Pachulia scored 13 points to hit double figures in consecutive games for the first time this season, just his fourth time reaching double digits for Golden State. He also matched his career high with three blocks in the Warriors’ ninth straight home win.
C.J. McCollum scored 35 points to lead a Portland team still without Damian Lillard, and the Trail Blazers certainly had to feel better about hanging tough in this one after their forgettable 45-point defeat here 2 1/2 weeks earlier.
Curry shot 12 for 25 on a night Splash Brother Klay Thompson struggled to find his stroke from long range, going 1 of 7 and scoring 14 points. Curry added seven rebounds and five assists.
Austin Rivers scored a season-high 28 points and helped rally Los Angeles from a 12-point deficit in the third quarter to beat Memphis for its second win in a row.
Jamal Crawford added 22 points off the bench and DeAndre Jordan had 18 points and 20 rebounds for the Clippers, who improved to 4-9 in the regular season without Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Both injured stars watched from the bench; Paul could return from a sore hamstring this week.
Marc Gasol scored 23 points and Mike Conley had 17 points and a season-high 12 assists for the Grizzlies.
Nicolas Batum had a season-high 28 points, and Charlotte beat Oklahoma City to snap a two-game losing streak.
Batum was 7 of 18 from the field and made 13 of 15 free throws. The Hornets were 40 of 49 from the foul line.
Russell Westbrook had 33 points and 15 rebounds, but fell two assists shy of his 17th triple-double of the season for Oklahoma City. Enes Kanter added 22 points, and Victor Oladipo and Steven Adams each had 18.
Hawks 111, Magic 92
Dennis Schroder scored 18 points, Dwight Howard had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Atlanta pulled away late in a victory over Orlando for its fourth straight win.
Kent Bazemore scored 17 points, and Paul Millsap had a big second half to finish with 16 points. Bazemore and Millsap knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to close the door on Orlando, which pulled within four points of the lead during the final period.
Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 15 points each, and Evan Fournier came off the bench to score 14 points.
Heat 107, Kings 102
Tyler Johnson scored 23 points and Miami beat Sacramento to snap a six-game losing streak.
The Heat squandered a 19-point third-quarter lead and trailed on several occasions in the fourth before Johnson gave them a 105-102 lead on a three-point play with 27.8 seconds left. The victory was Miami’s sixth straight over Sacramento and 16th in 17 meetings.
Goran Dragic had 19 points and seven assists for the Heat.
CLEVELAND — LeBron James scored 17 of his season-high 44 points in the fourth quarter and reached another career milestone as the Cleveland
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