Win boosts Cleveland’s card under new coach: Cavs down Spurs in duel of biggies
(Associated Press) - January 31, 2016 - 9:00am

CLEVELAND – Cleveland’s LeBron James scored 29 points as the Cavaliers belatedly beat one of the top NBA teams by downing San Antonio 117-103 on Saturday.

The Cavaliers had been 0-5 against Golden State, San Antonio and Chicago – three of the teams contending for the title this season along with Cleveland – but broke through for a win that would silence some critics.

Those critics might now turn their eyes to Golden State, as the Warriors needed a basket with two tenths of a second left to beat Philadelphia in a clash of the league’s top and bottom teams.

Elsewhere, Toronto extended its winning streak to a team record 11 games by downing Detroit, and Memphis held on against a strong finish by Sacramento.

Cleveland’s Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving added 21 apiece as the Cavaliers won a fourth straight under new coach Tyronn Lue, who replaced the fired David Blatt.

Kawhi Leonard scored 24 for the Spurs, who still retain a healthy 11-1/2 game lead in the Southwest Division.

Toronto was forced to work hard to extend its record streak, with DeMar DeRozan’s 29 points helping the Raptors beat Detroit 111-107.

Kyle Lowry had 18 points for the Raptors, who opened their lead in the Atlantic Division to 5-1/2 games.

Reserve guard Brandon Jennings led the way for Detroit with 22 points.

Golden State’s Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give the Warriors a 108-105 win against Philadelphia.

Klay Thompson had 32 points and Stephen Curry scored 23 points for the Warriors, who nearly blew a 24-point second-half lead.

Their sixth straight win improved the Warriors to 43-4; tying the best win-loss record over 47 games in NBA history.

Isaiah Canaan had 18 points to lead the 76ers, who dropped to 7-41.

Memphis’ Jeff Green scored 29 points to lead the Grizzlies to a 121-117 win against fast-finishing Sacramento.

The Kings pulled within 118-117 on a 3-pointer from Darren Collison with 18.7 seconds left. Courtney Lee sank two free throws for the Grizzlies to create a 120-117 lead. On the next possession, Collison lost the ball, allowing Memphis to hold on for a third straight win and send the Kings to a fourth successive loss.

Washington’s John Wall had 19 points and 13 assists to lead the Wizards to a 123-122 win at Houston.;.

Indiana’s Monta Ellis scored a season-high 32 points to lift the Pacers to a 109-105 overtime victory against Denver.

New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday hit a 15-foot shot with 1.3 seconds remaining to give the Pelicans a 105-103 win over Brooklyn.

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