Boston, December 3: The Boston Celtics survived to beat the Phoenix Suns, triumphing 116-111, while the Cleveland Cavaliers stayed hot in the NBA.
Led by Kyrie Irving, six Celtics players scored in double-figures against the Suns on Saturday (December 2).
Irving poured in 19 points on eight-of-14 shooting with five assists, while Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris pitched in with 17 points apiece.
Al Horford quietly turned in one of his best games of the season, scoring 14 points with 11 assists and five rebounds.
Suns guard Devin Booker was the star of the night, valiantly trying to lead Phoenix to a surprise win, posting 38 points.
Eastern Conference pacesetters Boston have now won eight of their last 10 games, maintaining a three-and-a-half game lead over the surging Cavaliers, who made it 11 victories in a row by topping the Memphis Grizzlies 116-111.
James, who scored Cleveland's final 13 points, finished with 34 points and 12 assists.
EMBIID, COVINGTON DOWN PISTONS
Philadelphia 76ers duo Joel Embiid and Robert Covington scored 25 points apiece in a 108-103 win over the Detroit Pistons. Neither player was especially efficient from the floor, but Embiid hauled in 10 rebounds, while Covington added eight rebounds with three assists.
Atlanta Hawks forward Luke Babbitt exploded off the bench for 20 points on seven-of-nine shooting (four of six from three-point range), leading his team to a 114-102 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
SLUMPING CLIPPERS STRUGGLE
As if losing 108-82 to the Dallas Mavericks was not bad enough, the Los Angeles Clippers failed to have a player score 20 points, while having all 10 players who played at least 10 minutes finish with negative ratings on the plus-minus scale. The Clippers have now lost 11 of their last 14 games.
LEBRON GETS JIGGY WITH IT
James' drive was good, but the dance was priceless.
James! pic.twitter.com/AZsEcg30j4— NBA (@NBA) December 3, 2017
Boston Celtics 116-111 Phoenix Suns
Atlanta Hawks 114-102 Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers 108-103 Detroit Pistons
Denver Nuggets 115-100 Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks 108-82 Los Angeles Clippers
Cleveland Cavaliers 116-111 Memphis Grizzlies
Milwaukee Bucks 109-104 Sacramento Kings
New Orleans Pelicans 123-116 Portland Trail Blazers
SPURS AT THUNDER
The Oklahoma City Thunder, with five losses in their last seven games, host a San Antonio Spurs team riding a four-game winning streak. San Antonio are still playing without star Kawhi Leonard, but LaMarcus Aldridge has returned to his best form.
Oklahoma City's three stars have looked out of sync this season, making this a tough game for reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and company.