Cavaliers shake off poor start, roll Nets 117-92

CLEVELAND: Cavaliers coach David Blatt had seen enough, more than

After his team’s sixth turnover in the game’s first minutes, a disgusted Blatt called timeout and gave his players some very specific instructions.

“Stop turning the ball over,” he told them.

The Cavs listened and then lit up the Nets.

J.R. Smith and Timofey Mozgov scored 17 points apiece, Kyrie Irving had 10 assists and the Cavaliers shook off the sluggish, sloppy start to win their 14th straight home game, 117-92 over Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

LeBron James added 16 points for the Cavs, who had seven players score in double figures. Just back from a four-game road trip, Cleveland trailed by 13 in the first quarter before going on a 30-8 run and didn’t look back.

“The first game after a road trip is always kind of tough,” James said. “We just found our rhythm.”

The Cavs are 25-6 since Jan. 15, when they were 19-20 and being questioned about whether they were NBA title contenders. Well, Cleveland is an entirely different team these days with balance, inside muscle and a healthy James, who battled knee and back issues earlier this season.

Kevin Love returned after a two-game break to rest his back and finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. The Cavs recorded 32 assists on 45 field goals, a testament to their unselfishness.

Spurs bounce back to beat Bucks 114-103; Heat rally to beat Blazers 108-104

MILWAUKEE: Spurs guard Tony Parker has been playing in the NBA long enough to know there’s no way to explain how his team could lose to one of the worst teams in the league one night and then come back and soundly beat a playoff contender the next.

But that’s what San Antonio did Wednesday. One night after coach Gregg Popovich said his team put forth “a pathetic performance” in an embarrassing 104-100 overtime loss to the New York Knicks, the Spurs used a strong second half to easily beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-103.

Veteran star Tim Duncan, who had 19 points and seven assists, offered a similar explanation for the reversal in play by the defending NBA champions.

Danny Green led the Spurs with 20 points and Boris Diaw added 18. San Antonio improved its shooting to 50 percent Wednesday, after struggling at 38 percent against the Knicks. The Spurs also went 8 of 20 on 3-pointers after going just 3 of 14 on Tuesday.

MIAMI: Dwayne Wade grabbed the last rebound along the baseline and threw the ball skyward as time expired, a scene eerily reminiscent of the final play of his first NBA Finals.

No, this isn’t 2006.

But Wade is unquestionably turning back the clock.

Wade scored 15 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, including a jumper with 13.6 seconds left to break a tie and help the Miami Heat beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-104 on Wednesday night.

Wade leads the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring this season, averaging 7.3 points. Miami trailed by 11 in the second half, but rallied and moved up to the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Luol Deng had 24 points on 4-for-4 shooting from 3-point range for Miami, which got 20 points and 11 assists from Goran Dragic and a 12-point, 10-rebound night from Hassan Whiteside.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 34 points and 12 rebounds. Damian Lillard scored 17 and Arron Afflalo added 15 for the Trail Blazers, who fell a half-game behind Houston in the race for third in the Western Conference.

Results: Brooklyn Nets 92 lost to Cleveland Cavaliers 117; Detroit Pistons 83 lost to Philadelphia 76ers 94; Portland Trailblazers 104 lost to Miami Heat 108; Minnesota Timberwolves 100 lost to Toronto Raptors 105; Indiana Pacers 86 lost to Chicago Bulls 103; San Antonio Spurs 114 beat Milwaukee Bucks 103; Boston Celtics 118 lost to Oklahoma City Thunder 122; Orlando Magic 102 lost to Dallas Mavericks 107; Los Angeles Clippers 116 beat Sacramento Kings 105; Atlanta Hawks 95 lost to Golden State Warriors 114; Washington Wizards 88 beat Utah Jazz 84

Vishnu Ravi Shankar
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