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NBA: Gifts for the Cavs

NBA details officiating errors.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Cleveland Cavaliers received a couple of Christmas gifts from game officials in their thrilling 109-108 holiday triumph over the Golden State Warriors, the NBA said Monday.

In their latest “Last Two Minutes Report’’ detailing officiating errors late in games, the league said Cleveland’s Richard Jefferson should have been called for a foul with 3.1 seconds remaining after his foot made contact with that of Kevin Durant, affecting the Golden State star’s speed, quickness, balance and rhythm.

Durant ended up sprawled on the court, unable to connect on a potential game-winner.

“I fell,’’ Durant said Sunday, “and I didn’t fall on my own.’’

Jefferson, however, said the officials made the right call.

“We all think we’re fouled on every play in every single game,’’ Jefferson said.

The NBA Finals rematch between the league powerhouses was the most-streamed NBA Christmas Day game ever, generating 359,000 unique viewers, according to Nielsen Company figures released Monday by ABC sister network ESPN.

The game averaged a hefty 10.163 million viewers via the ABC broadcast and streaming combined.

The NBA champion Cavaliers rallied in the fourth quarter, courtesy of such Cleveland crowd-pleasing plays as LeBron James’s monster dunk with 1:43 remaining which put the Cavs up 105-103 – their first lead since the first quarter.

“King’’ James hung on the rim and flexed his arms – a move that the league acknowledged Monday in the officiating report should have seen him handed a technical foul for “deliberately hanging on the rim’’ after the dunk was completed.

The after-the-fact report is issued by the league in a bid for transparency in officiating – but has no bearing on the result of the game.

The Cavs were back in action on Monday, but with James sitting out they fell 106-90 to the Pistons in Detroit.

The Pistons snapped a five-game losing streak and ended the Eastern Conference-leading Cavs’ five-game winning streak.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 18 points, Marcus Morris added 15 and Joe Leuer and Reggie Jackson contributed 13 apiece for the Pistons, who never trailed.

Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 18 points and eight assists. Kevin Love chipped in 17 points and 14 rebounds for the visitors, who trimmed the deficit to as little as one point early in the third quarter but never got in front.

Other results:

RAPTORS 95, T’BLAZERS 91
Kyle Lowry scored 27 points as the Toronto Raptors won their franchise-best seventh consecutive road game over the skidding Portland Trail Blazers.

PELICANS 111, MAVS 104
Anthony Davis had 28 points and 16 rebounds as New Orleans beat Dallas.

ROCKETS 131, SUNS 115
James Harden had 32 points and 12 assists in three quarters and Houston never trailed in a win over Phoenix.

BULLS 90, PACERS 85
Dwyane Wade scored 21 points and Nikola Mirotic added a season-high 20 as Chicago overcame a poor shooting performance to beat Indiana and snap a three-game skid.

NUGGETS 106, CLIPPERS 102
Nikola Jokic had 24 points and 10 rebounds while Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton each added 23 points to lead the Denver Nuggets past the undermanned Los Angeles Clippers.

KINGS 100, 76ERS 100
DeMarcus Cousins made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 20.9 seconds remaining and added a clutch free throw moments later, lifting the Sacramento Kings over the Philadelphia 76ers.

WIZARDS 107, BUCKS 102
Otto Porter scored 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while John Wall had 18 points and a season-high 16 assists to help Washington come from behind to beat Milwaukee.

T’WOLVES 104, HAWKS 90
Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Zach LaVine hit six 3-pointers to lead Minnesota over Atlanta.

MAGIC 112, GRIZZLIES 102
Aaron Gordon scored 30 points, and Serge Ibaka and Elfrid Payton had 16 apiece to help Orlando beat Memphis.

NETS 120, HORNETS 118
Randy Foye made a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer and give Brooklyn a victory over Charlotte.

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