BOSTON (AP) – Kyrie Irving scored 17 of his 30 points in a blistering first half and the Boston Celtics jumped to an early lead and coasted to a 118-103 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.
One game after ending their streak of 16 consecutive victories, the Celtics scored 40 points in the first quarter and 73 by halftime – both season highs – to send the Magic to their seventh straight loss. Aron Baynes finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Al Horford had 10 assists.
Still wearing a mask after breaking a bone in his face on Nov. 10, Irving was 9 for 15 from the floor and sank all 10 of his free throw attempts, many with the sold-out crowd chanting “M-V-P!”
Rozier had a career-high 23 points for Boston, which also topped its season high for points.
Jonathon Simmons scored 14 points for Orlando.
CAVALIERS 100, HORNETS 99
In Cleveland, LeBron James had 27 points, 16 rebounds and 13 assists, J.R. Smith made the tiebreaking free throw with 48 seconds left, and Cleveland extended its winning streak to seven with a victory over Charlotte.
James had season highs in rebounds and assists in his 57th career triple-double. He’s 41-6 in the regular season against Charlotte and the Cavaliers have won 12 of 13, including eight straight against the Hornets.
Dwight Howard had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Charlotte. The Hornets are 1-8 on the road.
PISTONS 99, THUNDER 98
In Oklahoma City, Andre Drummond had 17 points and 14 rebounds and Detroit overcame a 15-point deficit to beat Oklahoma City.
Russell Westbrook had his sixth triple-double of the season for Oklahoma City with 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. He missed a long 3-point attempt on the final possession to finish 1 of 10 from 3-point range and 10 of 29 from the field.
Down 10 at the half, the Pistons took their first lead on Ish Smith’s jumper in the fourth and expanded it to four on Luke Kennard’s only basket of the night, a 3-pointer that made it 88-84.