Cavs 124, Knicks 93
CLEVELAND (AP) – LeBron James had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers used a 74-point first half to hammer the New York Knicks 124-93 on Monday night in their first game since learning Shaquille O’Neal will miss the rest of the regular season.
The Cavaliers didn’t miss the 15-time All-Star, who had surgery on his injured right thumb Monday morning and is expected to miss two months. The team is hopeful he will return for at least part of the playoffs.
The 31-point margin of victory is the largest this season for Cleveland, which equaled a season high with its 74-point first half – set three weeks ago against the Knicks. The Cavaliers outrebounded New York 60-31 and led by as much as 49. They have won eight straight in the series.
Reserve Bill Walker scored 21 points for New York.
Magic 126, 76ers 105
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Jameer Nelson had 22 points and 10 assists, and the Orlando Magic beat the Philadelphia 76ers.
All five starters scored at least 14 points for the Magic. They reached the 100-point mark late in the third quarter and kept the pressure on in the fourth to match their highest point total of the season.
Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis each scored 19 points. Dwight Howard had 14. Orlando hit five 3-pointers in the third and shot 69 percent to turn a seven-point lead at halftime into a total rout.
The Sixers played without Elton Brand (right Achilles’ tendinitis) and Allen Iverson (personal).
Mavericks 89, Bobcats 84
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points, Jason Terry had several key buckets down the stretch, and the surging Dallas Mavericks beat Charlotte to spoil the Bobcats’ first game since Michael Jordan agreed to buy the team.
Jordan’s presence courtside and a difficult travel schedule couldn’t stop the NBA’s hottest team from their eighth straight win. Caron Butler added 22 points and Terry scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for Dallas, which rallied from a 12-point third-quarter deficit.
Stephen Jackson scored 20 points, but also had six of Charlotte’s 20 turnovers. Tyrus Thomas added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats, who dropped to 0-12 against the Mavericks, the only team they’ve never beaten.
Trail Blazers 103, Grizzlies 93
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Brandon Roy scored 25 points and Nicolas Batum added 21 as Portland erased a 14-point first-half deficit with a strong third quarter and defeated the Memphis Grizzlies.
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 13, and Andre Miller scored 12 points and handed out 11 assists as the Trail Blazers ended their five-game road trip with four victories. They also solidified their hold on the Western Conference’s eighth playoff spot.
The win was the seventh straight road win for Portland over the Grizzlies. Meanwhile, Memphis extended its current home losing streak to seven. Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 22 points.
Spurs 106, Hornets 92
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – George Hill scored 23 points and the San Antonio Spurs won their second straight, beating the New Orleans Hornets.
Tim Duncan added 22 points and nine rebounds, and Tony Parker had 18 points for the Spurs, who shot 51 percent and led by 20 in the third quarter before holding on without much drama.
Rookie Marcus Thornton was 6 of 7 from 3-point range, setting a career high for 3s in a game, and scored 30 points for New Orleans, which has dropped two straight and four its last five. Emeka Okafor scored 18 points and David West added 13 for the Hornets, who never led in the final three quarters.
Hawks 116, Bulls 92
CHICAGO (AP) – Jamal Crawford scored 21 points, Josh Smith added 17 points and a season-high 18 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls for their fourth win in five games.
Marvin Williams had 18 points as Atlanta pulled away down the stretch after its 18-point, second-quarter lead was cut to five early in the fourth.
Williams scored seven during a 9-0 run following a basket by Chicago’s Derrick Rose, making it 94-79 midway through the fourth and breaking open a six-point game.
Rose led the Bulls with 24 points despite missing most of the first quarter after hurting his right knee, but it was a long night for a team that had won eight of 11.
Rockets 116, Raptors 92
HOUSTON (AP) – Kevin Martin and Aaron Brooks scored 28 points each in three quarters and the Houston Rockets rolled to a win over the struggling and beat-up Toronto Raptors.
The Rockets led by 32 after three and both teams played mostly reserves the rest of the way.
Houston scored the first five points of the game and never trailed in this one as the Raptors dropped their fourth in a row in their sixth straight game without injured All-Star Chris Bosh.
Marcus Banks led the Raptors with 15 points.
Suns 101, Nuggets 85
PHOENIX (AP) – Amare Stoudemire had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and the reserves keyed a big second quarter for the Phoenix Suns in a victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Goran Dragic scored 10 first-half points off the bench and the reserves scored 24 of 33 second-quarter points, when the Suns quickly erased an early double-digit deficit.
Grant Hill added 19 points and Channing Frye had 16 for the Suns, who won their fifth straight at home and their sixth in seven games overall. Phoenix has won 10 straight at home against the Nuggets dating to 2003-04.
Clippers 108, Jazz 104
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Eric Gordon scored 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Clippers nearly blew a 17-point lead in the final 61/2 minutes before beating the Utah Jazz.
Every Clippers starter reached double figures before the third quarter ended. Drew Gooden had 19 points and 11 rebounds, helping Los Angeles end a six-game losing streak against the Jazz. Los Angeles has won four of its last six games after dropping its first five under interim coach Kim Hughes.
Carlos Boozer scored 20 points for the Jazz, who were coming off their second straight 10-win month.