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With no less than 12 games on the schedule, it was a busy night in the NBA with the Washington Wizards stealing the headlines for all the right reasons.
John Wall led the charge with 28 points, six rebounds and seven assists to outshine Kyrie Irving (22 points, six rebounds and two assists), as the Wizards sent their Eastern Conference rivals to a third straight loss.
The Cavaliers went the final nine minutes without scoring a field goal as they slipped to 5-6 for the season, and coach David Blatt blamed “irresponsible play” and “bad decisions” for some of the 19 turnovers his team committed.
LeBron James ended the game with 22 points on 8-for-21 shooting, but the Cavaliers shot 36 percent and scored a season-low in points as they looked flat-footed and lacking the determination to get a difficult road win.
There were no such problems for the Eastern Conference leaders, the Toronto Raptors, who improved to 10-2 and 8-1 at home after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks at the Air Canada Centre.
Kyle Lowry had 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists while Lou Williams scored 22 points off the bench as the Raptors warmed up nicely for their trip to the Cavaliers on Saturday night.
“If we don’t come out to take care of business, they can embarrass you,” coach Dwane Casey warned before the game. “They’ll spank you like you stole something.”
Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points and 12 rebounds as Toronto claimed a 41-point victory, narrowly missing out on a franchise record.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls weren’t in a winning mood despite 24 points and 11 rebounds from Nikola Mirotic against the Portland Trail Blazers, with Damian Lillard (21 points, six rebounds and nine assists) leading the hosts to a comfortable win.
There was further bad news for the Bulls who lost Taj Gibson to an ankle injury as he joins Kirk Hinrich, Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol on the sidelines.
The Dallas Mavericks made no mistakes against the Los Angeles Lakers who were chasing a third consecutive win, as they secured a 34-point win behind 20 points from Monta Ellis, while the San Antonio Spurs improved to 8-4 for the season with a comprehensive win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Orlando Magic 105-100 Charlotte Hornets
Phoenix Suns 122-96 Philadelphia 76ers
Detroit Pistons 89-99 Atlanta Hawks
Milwaukee Bucks 83-124 Toronto Raptors
Boston Celtics 100-117 Memphis Grizzlies
San Antonio Spurs 121-92 Minnesota Timberwolves
Brooklyn Nets 94-92 Oklahoma City Thunder
Cleveland Cavaliers 78-91 Washington Wizards
Los Angeles Lakers 106-140 Dallas Mavericks
New Orleans Pelicans 97-117 Denver Nuggets
Utah Jazz 88-101 Golden State Warriors
Chicago Bulls 87-105 Portland Trail Blazers