Cavaliers make NBA regular-season record 25 threes, top Hawks 135-130

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ATLANTA (AP) Kyrie Irving scored 43 points, LeBron James had 38 and the Cleveland Cavaliers set the NBA regular-season record with 25 3-pointers as they turned back Atlanta’s late rally to beat the Hawks 135-130 on Friday night.

After Paul Millsap‘s baseline jumper over James cut Cleveland’s lead to 124-123, Kyle Korver – who was traded from Atlanta to the Cavaliers on Jan. 7 – hit the record-breaking 3-pointer to pad the lead.

Cleveland made 25 of 46 3s to break a record that stood less than three months. Houston made 24 treys in a 122-100 win over New Orleans on Dec. 16.

Tim Hardaway Jr. made five of nine 3-pointers and led the Hawks with a career-high 36 points. Millsap had 27 points.

The Cavaliers set the high-scoring pace by scoring 39 points in the first period. The Hawks also shot well, making 55.6 percent of their shots in the first half, but still trailed 77-60 at the break.

It was an impressive showing by Cleveland, which signed free-agent center Andrew Bogut on Thursday. Bogut has not yet joined the team.

Hardaway’s breakaway jam cut the Cleveland lead to six points at 121-115, but James answered with a 3-pointer.

Hardaway had too little scoring help for the Hawks to keep pace with the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers made 14 of 23 3-pointers in the first half. Cleveland finished four points shy of their season high before halftime. It had 81 points in the first half of a 137-125 win over Portland on Nov. 23.

Cleveland continued its high-scoring pace by leading 106-88 after three periods.

The Cavaliers atoned for a 110-106 home loss to Atlanta on Nov. 8. It was Cleveland’s only loss in their last 12 games – including the postseason – against the Hawks since the 2015 playoffs.

The Hawks retired “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s No. 44 at halftime. The number was uncovered in the Philips Arena rafters beside banners honoring numbers worn by Bob Pettit (9), Lou Hudson (23), Dominique Wilkins (21) and Dikembe Mutombo (55).

Maravich’s wife, Jackie, and son, Josh, spoke at the ceremony.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Coach Tyronn Lue was sniffling with cold symptoms, but said “I’ll be all right. As long as I don’t get anybody else sick.” … Lue said he does not yet have a plan for how he’ll fit Bogut into his rotation. Lue said Channing Frye will continue to start.

Hawks: In honor of Maravich, who began his career in Atlanta from 1970-74, the team wore its early 1970s blue and green throwback uniform. … Cleveland’s 77 points were the most allowed by Atlanta in a first half this season. … G-F Mike Dunleavy, who missed his fourth straight game, has been diagnosed with right ankle synovitis. The Hawks say Dunleavy now will have an undetermined period of rest and rehabilitation.

WELCOME BACK, KORVER

Players from both benches applauded after the first quarter when the Hawks had a video tribute for Korver. He hugged many of his former teammates during pregame warmups and was cheered by fans, some wearing his Hawks jersey, when he entered the game with 3:16 remaining in the first quarter.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: At Miami on Saturday

Hawks: Host Indiana on Sunday

Devin Booker drops 70 points for Suns in loss to Celtics (VIDEO)

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.

His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.

Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)

James Harden helped recruit Lou Williams to Houston

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The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.

While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”

Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”

We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.

Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.