NBA roundup: Cavs edge Magic to end 4-game skid

(Reuters) Isaiah Thomas scored 21 points and hit the go-ahead free throws with 11 seconds remaining as the Cleveland Cavaliers blew a 23-point lead but held off the Orlando Magic for a 104-103 win Thursday in Cleveland.

Thomas shot 6 of 15 from the floor but made six of seven free throws. His biggest points occurred after Orlando briefly took its first lead in the final minute, as Cleveland recovered to end a four-game losing streak.

LeBron James scored 16 points for the Cavaliers, who carried a 67-47 lead into halftime and held a 23-point advantage early in the third. He is 25 points away from becoming the seventh player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points.

Elfrid Payton finished with 19 points and eight assists for Orlando, which has lost 28 of its last 33 games.

76ers 89, Celtics 80

Joel Embiid had 26 points, 16 rebounds and six assists in an overall dominant effort, and visiting Philadelphia held on to defeat Boston.

Embiid scored 20 or more points for the 24th time this season. Dario Saric scored 16 points and T.J. McConnell had 15 for the Sixers, who won without sharpshooting guard JJ Redick, out due to a leg injury.

Al Horford and Marcus Morris paced the Celtics with 14 points each while Marcus Smart added 13 and Jaylen Brown had 12. Boston played without Kyrie Irving, sidelined because of a shoulder injury.

Rockets 116, Timberwolves 98

James Harden returned from a seven-game injury hiatus but took a backseat to the dynamic play of Chris Paul and Eric Gordon in Houston’s victory over visiting Minnesota.

Harden, playing under a minutes restriction, finished with 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting and seven assists over 26 minutes, the first time this season he failed to record at least 20 points. Gordon and Paul filled the scoring void. Gordon posted 30 points off the bench, while Paul tallied 19 points, six rebounds and nine assists.

Jimmy Butler poured in 23 points as Karl-Anthony Towns added 22 points and 16 rebounds for Minnesota. Andrew Wiggins chipped in a relatively quiet 16 points.

Trail Blazers 100, Pacers 86

Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic led the way as Portland disposed of visiting Indiana.

Lillard collected 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds, and Nurkic scored 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who won their second consecutive game.

Darren Collison and Victor Oladipo each scored 23 points while Thaddeus Young had 10 points and 14 boards for the Pacers, whose three-game winning streak ended.

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