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CLEVELAND (AP) – Kyrie Irving scored 25 points and LeBron James, returning to the lineup after sitting out a game, added 21 as the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled past the Detroit Pistons 104-81 on Friday.
Elsewhere, Golden State cruised to a comfortable victory against Boston, Oklahoma City defeated Brooklyn on the back of another triple-double from Russell Westbrook and Charlotte ended Atlanta’s hot streak.
At Cleveland, Irving was 11 of 15 from the field with 11 assists, one short of his career high, in 29 minutes as the defending champions were hardly challenged by Detroit.
James, who rested Wednesday in a loss to Indiana, made 9 of 14 shots and played only 28 minutes.
Following a slow start that saw Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue call timeout less than two minutes into the game, the Cavaliers took over. Cleveland led by 11 at the end of the first quarter, took a 56-39 lead into halftime and continued to dominate.
Cleveland built the lead to 33 points in the fourth quarter, allowing Lue to rest his starters for the entire final period.
The Pistons’ starting five of Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith combined for only 37 points.
J.R. Smith, who returned after missing three games with a sprained right ankle, hit three 3-pointers and moved past the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki into 15th place on the NBA’s all-time list for 3s.
Klay Thompson scored 28 points, Kevin Durant had 23 points and 10 rebounds against the team he spurned this summer and the Golden State Warriors scored 18 points in a row in the third quarter to pull away and beat the Boston Celtics 104-88.
Stephen Curry had just 16 points – his second-fewest of the season – while sitting out much of the fourth quarter as the Warriors cruised to their sixth straight victory.
Avery Bradley had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Boston and Isaiah Thomas scored a season-low 18.
At Oklahoma City, Westbrook had 30 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds in his fourth triple-double of the season, and the Thunder defeated the Brooklyn Nets 124-105.
Westbrook made 13 of 21 shots and had just three turnovers. It was the 41st triple-double of his career.
Victor Oladipo scored 26 points and Steven Adams added 15 for the Thunder, who won their second straight after a four-game losing streak.
Brook Lopez scored 22 points for the Nets.
Nic Batum had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Cody Zeller matched his career high with 23 points and Charlotte came from behind to end the Atlanta Hawks’ six-game winning streak with a 100-96 victory.
Zeller was 9 of 10 from the field. Kemba Walker overcame a slow start and scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half for his 10th straight 20-point game.
The Hornets improved to 8-3 with their first victory against one of the upper-echelon teams in the Eastern Conference.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 22 points and 13 rebounds, and Kent Bazemore had 19 points.
Dwight Howard had 10 points and 18 rebounds before being ejected in the fourth quarter when he delivered an intentional elbow to Zeller’s face. Howard had been a key factor up until that point, but the Hawks seemed to collapse without him.
Also Friday, the Phoenix Suns beat the Indiana Pacers 116-96, the San Antonio Spurs topped the Los Angeles Lakers 116-107 and the Toronto Raptors held off the Denver Nuggets for a 113-111 victory.