Hawks soar past Cavs, Celtics win again as Harden scores 56
After snapping a four-game losing streak, the inconsistent Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
It is one step forward, two steps back for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who went down 117-115 to the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA.
Three-time defending Eastern Conference champions the Cleveland were fresh off snapping a four-game losing streak before being beaten by the Hawks on Sunday.
The Hawks remain bottom of the Eastern Conference even after the win, and Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue thought that was part of his team's problem.
"Every night we have to respect out opponent," Lue said after the game. "[We need to have] a sense of urgency. Not just in the fourth quarter, but from start to finish. When guys are out, or we're playing teams that don't have a good record, we have to understand they are still going to play hard, they are still going to compete, and if we don't match their energy we're going to get beat."
James led the Cavaliers with 26 points and 13 rebounds. From the bench, Dwyane Wade scored 25 points, and Kyle Korver added 23 points.
The red-hot Boston Celtics extended their winning streak to eight games with a 104-88 win over the Orlando Magic.
James Harden, meanwhile, scored a career-high 56 points on 19-of-25 shooting and tallied 13 assists as the Houston Rockets accounted for the Utah Jazz 137-110.
Harden matched reigning MVP Russell Westbrook as the only two players to have three games of at least 50 points and 10 assists in the last 30 seasons.
The All-Star, who played just 35 minutes in the game, reached 54 points before the end of the third quarter in a truly masterclass performance.
WHITESIDE POSTS DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Miami Heat centre Hassan Whiteside scored 21 points with 17 rebounds in a 104-101 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Whiteside added three steals and two blocks to help Miami hang on to a narrow victory after leading by 23 points entering the fourth quarter.
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal scored 38 points on 16 of 26 shooting with five rebounds and four assists in a 107-96 victory against the Toronto Raptors. Beal has now scored at least 36 points in three straight games.
FOURNIER STRUGGLES IN MAGIC LOSS
Magic shooting guard Evan Fournier scored just six points on two of 14 shooting. Fournier started the season on a torrid pace, but he has cooled off significantly.
PORZINGIS WITH ONE FOR THE HIGHLIGHT REEL
Kristaps Porzingis made the one-handed alley-oop. The New York Knicks big man finished the 108-101 win over the Indiana Pacers with 40 points, eight rebounds and six blocks.
Atlanta Hawks 117-115 Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics 104-88 Orlando Magic
San Antonio Spurs 112-95 Phoenix Suns
New York Knicks 108-101 Indiana Pacers
Miami Heat 104-101 Los Angeles Clippers
Washington Wizards 107-96 Toronto Raptors
Houston Rockets 137-110 Utah Jazz
Minnesota Timberwolves 112-94 Charlotte Hornets
Portland Trail Blazers 103-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers 107-102 Memphis Grizzlies
HEAT AT WARRIORS
Winners in six of their last seven games, the Golden State Warriors host the Miami Heat with a chance to tie the Rockets for best team in the Western Conference. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are leading the way once again, but the Warriors have 13 players averaging at least four points per game.