Kevin Love hit a new NBA record for points in a first quarter as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 137-125 at home on Wednesday.
Love’s 34 points – just three short of the record for any quarter set by Klay Thompson last January – inspired the Eastern Conference leaders to another valuable victory, while LeBron James racked up 31.
Goran Dragic endured another dismal outing as the Miami Heat went down to the Detroit Pistons, while the Memphis Grizzlies needed overtime to beat the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Los Angeles Clippers are still out in front in the Western Conference, having overcome the Dallas Mavericks 124-104, with the Golden State Warriors hot on their tail after routing the Los Angeles Lakers 149-106.
Love’s decimation of the Trail Blazers came in clinical fashion, as he outscored the entire opposition (31) in a first quarter in which he made a career-high eight three-pointers from 10 attempts.
Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard continued his career rejuvenation in a 96-85 win over the Indiana Pacers by scoring 23 points and hauling in 20 rebounds.
Howard, who is averaging a double-double for the season, has recorded three in his last four games.
Kawhi Leonard put up 30 points, with five rebounds and four assists, to help the San Antonio Spurs defeat the Charlotte Hornets 119-114 on the road.
Leonard is averaging 24.8 points per game this season, and is quickly becoming one of the best two-way players in the NBA.
COLD STREAK CONTINUES FOR DRAGIC
Heat point guard Goran Dragic scored just six points with four assists and two rebounds in a 107-84 loss against the Detroit Pistons.
Dragic is this team’s unquestioned leader with Dwyane Wade playing in Chicago and Chris Bosh still out with blood clots, and more is expected.
James Harden beats the buzzer in the first quarter against the Raptors:
— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) November 24, 2016
Steph Curry with the sliderule:
— NBA (@NBA) November 24, 2016
WARRIORS GET REVENGE ON LAKERS
Stephen Curry racked up 31 points and the Warriors produced a franchise-record 47 assists in emphatically avenging their 117-97 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles this month.
The Phoenix Suns beat the Orlando Magic 92-87 and the Boston Celtics had Isaiah Thomas (23 points) to thank as they saw off the Brooklyn Nets 111-92.
A 29-point haul from James Harden was not enough as the Houston Rockets suffered a 115-102 loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Denver Nuggets slipped up 83-108 against the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans won 117-96 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have now lost three in a row following their 116-101 defeat to the Sacramento Kings.
The NBA takes a break for Thanksgiving and will resume on November 25.