Cavaliers overcome Hawks for 10th straight win, Celtics top 76ers
The Cleveland Cavaliers extended their winning streak by defeating the Atlanta Hawks, while the Boston Celtics were too good for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Atlanta have been a thorn in Cleveland's side over the years but Thursday's 121-114 win in the NBA was more than a revenge game.
The victory marked the 10th successive win for LeBron James and the Cavaliers, despite a stellar game from the Hawks star Dennis Schroder.
Schroder point guard had 27 points and five assists and forced the Cavs to put LeBron James on the 24-year-old.
It was a challenge for James but it was one he took and ran with.
"He was kicking our butts in the first half," James told reporters after the game about Schroder. "My team-mates asked me to take the challenge. I wanted the challenge."
Schroder was held to 10 points in the second half and the Cavaliers (15-7) were able to erase a four-point half-time deficit as James posted 24 points and 12 assists.
Kyrie Irving scored 36 points to see the in-form Celtics to a 108-97 victory against the 76ers.
Irving enjoyed his fifth game of 30 or more points this season as the Celtics improved to 19-4 in the Eastern Conference.
BARTON LIFTS NUGGETS AT THE DEATH
The Denver Nuggets lost Nikola Jokic to an ankle injury in the first half but Will Barton stepped up in his absence and finished with 37 points on 13-of-19 shooting, including six of nine from beyond the arc. He also made the game-winning layup with three seconds remaining to seal a 111-110 win over the Chicago Bulls.
"I was telling my team-mates to give me the ball and get out of the way," Barton said after the game.
LILLARD AND MCCOLLUM STRUGGLE
While Blazers guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum ultimately had decent nights on Thursday, their first-half performances were a big reason Portland were down 60-45 at the half. Lillard and McCollum combined to go four for 19 from the floor, scoring just eight points during the first 24 minutes of the 103-91 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
BARTON MAKES LAST-GASP LAY-UP
With time set to expire, Barton downed the Bulls.
Cleveland Cavaliers 121-114 Atlanta Hawks
Denver Nuggets 111-110 Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz 126-107 Los Angeles Clippers
Boston Celtics 108-97 Philadelphia 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks 103-91 Portland Trail Blazers
PACERS AT RAPTORS
Two of the best backcourts in the Eastern Conference face off on Friday as Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison of the Indiana Pacers take on Toronto Raptors duo DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. The Pacers have been a pleasant surprise this season while the Raptors have been steady just like last year.