Thomas returns in Cavs' win

Reuters
Damian Lillard, who missed five games with a sore right hamstring, returns to the Portland TrailBlazers lineup from injury and finishes with 22 points. 
Reuters
AFP

Jae Crowder of the Cleveland Cavaliers (left) guards Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half of their NBA action at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday. The Cavaliers defeated the Trail Blazers 127-110.  

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Nicolas Batum scored 21 points, and Dwight Howard had 20 as the Charlotte Hornets rolled to a 131-111 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Jeremy Lamb and Johnny O'Bryant III each had 16 points, and Kemba Walker contributed 12 points and 10 assists for the Hornets. Charlotte shot 57.3 percent from the field and coasted after building a 20-point halftime lead that grew to 23 late in the third quarter.

Zach Randolph finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Skal Labissiere had 17 points and 15 rebounds for Sacramento, which has lost three straight home games since beating the Cavaliers last Wednesday. The Kings have lost five of six. 

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