TORONTO – LeBron James and the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers absorbed their most lopsided loss of the season when they were routed by the Toronto Raptors 133-99 on Thursday night.
The Cavaliers have dropped six of eight dating to a Christmas Day loss at defending champion Golden State. James scored 26 points in this loss, while Isaiah Thomas missed his first 11 shots.
After losing to Minnesota 127-99 on Monday night, the Cavaliers fell by an even bigger margin. Toronto’s 133 points were the most by any Cleveland opponent this season, and marked the third straight game that Cleveland has allowed at least 127.
Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 22 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and a season-high 18 rebounds and the Raptors overcame the absences of two starters.
C.J. Miles scored 16 points, Pascal Siakam and Norm Powell each had 14 and DeMar DeRozan 13 for the Raptors, who were without point guard Kyle Lowry (bruised tailbone) and forward Serge Ibaka (suspension).
Celtics 114, 76ers 103
LONDON – Kyrie Irving had 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Boston overcame a 22-point deficit to beat Philadelphia in the eighth NBA game played in England.
Jaylen Brown added 21 points, and Marcus Morris had 19 points and eight rebounds to help the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics extend their winning streak to seven games.
JJ Redick had 22 points and hit five 3-pointers for Philadelphia, but the 76ers were unable to take advantage of their fast start as the Celtics’ NBA-best defense tightened at O2 Arena.
Joel Embiid had 16 points, and fellow All-Star hopeful Ben Simmons added 15 for the 76ers.
Lakers 93, Spurs 81
LOS ANGELES – Brandon Ingram scored 26 points, Lonzo Ball added 18 and Los Angeles beat short-handed San Antonio for its first three-game winning streak of the season.
Larry Nance Jr. had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who blew an early 19-point lead before running away in the fourth quarter. Ball contributed 10 rebounds and six assists as Los Angeles snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Spurs at Staples Center since April 2013, the last time the Lakers made the playoffs.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half for the Spurs, who committed 21 turnovers while playing without injured starters Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Danny Green.
Clippers 121, Kings 115
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Tyrone Wallace intercepted a pass at midcourt and drove in for a dunk with 10.9 seconds left, moments after what looked like a costly turnover by Lou Williams, and Los Angeles held off Sacramento after blowing a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers, who lost DeAndre Jordan to a sprained left ankle in the second quarter, won their third straight over the Kings this season and their 11th in a row at Sacramento.
Williams finished with 30 points and six assists, one night after scoring a career-high 50 against defending champion Golden State. Blake Griffin had 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in his return to the Clippers after missing two games with a concussion, and Montrezl Harrell scored a season-best 25 – including 16 in the second quarter when Los Angeles put up 43 points.
The Clippers led 106-92 early in the fourth before the Kings rallied to go ahead 113-112 on Bogdan Bogdanovich’s layup with 2:10 remaining.
Griffin followed with a 3-pointer and Williams later scored on a short jumper.
Bogdanovich scored 22 points and George Hill added 21, but he missed two free throws over the final 70 seconds.
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