January 23, 2018, 11:56 pm
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Thomas triumphant in return

CLEVELAND. — Damian Lillard outdueled Isaiah Thomas in a battle of returning All-Star guards on Tuesday night, but Thomas’ team had the last laugh.

Thomas scored 17 points off the bench in his season and Cavaliers debut to help host Cleveland top the Portland Trail Blazers 127-110 despite Lillard’s 25-point night.

Thomas, who missed the first 36 games of the season recovering from a hip injury, made 6 of 12 shots in 18 minutes. LeBron James totaled 24 points, eight assists and six rebounds, Kevin Love added 19 points and seven boards to help the Cavaliers snap a three-game losing streak.

Lillard was returning from a five-game absence caused by a right hamstring strain, but he had little trouble duplicating his past scoring dominance. He also had six assists but committed seven turnovers in 32 minutes.

Spurs 100, Knicks 91
In New York,  Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points on 8-of-20 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds in 30 minutes to pace San Antonio to a win over visiting New York.

LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 19 points and five boards while Manu Ginobili scored 12 points and Pau Gasol had 11 and eight rebounds for the Spurs.

Kristaps Porzingis was one of three Knicks with 13 points and also grabbed nine rebounds. Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas also scored 13, Enes Kanter had 12 and Jarrett Jack chipped in 12 for New York, which has lost five of six.

Suns 104, Hawks 103
In Phoenix, Devin Booker scored 34 points, sinking five three throws in the final 12.3 seconds, and Phoenix scored 11 consecutive points late in the fourth quarter to steal a victory over visiting Atlanta.

Dennis Schroder’s driving layup with nine-tenths of a second remaining ended the Suns’ 11-0 run, but Phoenix successfully inbounded the ball to end the game.

TJ Warren scored 31 points on 15-of-21 shooting, and Chriss had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns. Ersan Ilyasova had 21 points and Schroder and Kent Bazemore added 20 apiece for the Hawks.

Clippers 113, Grizzlies 105
In Los Angeles, Lou Williams scored 33 points to lead Los Angeles to a victory over visiting Memphis.

Williams connected on all 15 of his free-throw attempts as the Clippers won their fourth consecutive game and their sixth in the past seven. Williams topped 30 points in four of the past six contests and is averaging 30.8 points during the stretch. Blake Griffin added 21 points and eight assists, and C.J. Williams scored 18 points for Los Angeles.

Tyreke Evans scored 18 points and Mario Chalmers added 15 for Memphis. The Grizzlies shot just 36.6 percent from the field in the second half to finish at 48.7 percent. – Sports Xchange
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