Kyrie Irving scored 28 points in his return after missing 11 games with a broken finger, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 100-94 victory over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have lost eight of their last 11 games.
CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving scored 28 points in his return after missing 11 games with a broken finger, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 100-94 victory over Kobe Bryant and the struggling Los Angeles Lakers, who look nothing like a team projected to win an NBA title — or much of anything else.
“This is one of the most challenging stretches of my 17 years, and the most baffling, too,” a puzzled Bryant said after the Lakers lost for the eighth time in 11 games. “We have the talent and personnel to do it, but we’re not, and it’s baffling. It’s extremely frustrating.
“It doesn’t make any sense. We’re still finding ways to lose games.”
Irving added 11 assists in 39 minutes and showed off his dizzying array of moves as the Cavaliers ended a five-game losing streak.
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Bryant scored 42 points and Dwight Howard had 19 points and 20 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for the Lakers.
“We have to stop the bleeding — somehow,” Howard said.
Anthony scores 45
NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 45 points, Jason Kidd made the tiebreaking three-pointer with 24 seconds left, and the New York Knicks rallied from an early 17-point hole to beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-97.
Kidd finished with 18 points against his former team, which used to dominate the Knicks when he played in New Jersey. Now the series is tied 1-1 since the Nets moved to Brooklyn.
Andray Blatche scored 23 points in place of Nets center Brook Lopez, who missed his sixth straight game with a sprained right foot. Brooklyn has lost five in a row.
• Blake Griffin had 22 points and 10 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Chicago Bulls 94-89 for their seventh straight victory, the team’s longest winning streak in two decades.
In an incident involving graduates of Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, guard Nate Robinson of the Bulls was called for a flagrant foul when he tripped the Clippers’ Jamal Crawford.
Crawford finished with 10 points and Robinson had nine.
• Toronto center-forward Amir Johnson was suspended for one game without pay by the league because he threw his mouthpiece toward referee David Jones after being ejected in the third quarter of the Raptors’ 92-74 loss at Portland on Monday.