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

For a couple grand, Warriors fans can have Larry O’Brien Trophy visit their suite

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There’s so much money floating around the Bay Area right now thanks to another tech boom, this price almost seems low.

If you have a suite for the Golden State Warriors home games this season — and those are pretty much sold out, the Warriors draw big from the Silicon Valley crowd — you can have the NBA championship Larry O’Brien Trophy visit your suite. All for just a couple grand. From Gilbert Lee, via ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

The best part is it includes champagne… do you get to spray each other with it as you hold up the trophy? Now that would be perfect (goggles included, of course).

Have an issue with this? Why? To the victor goes the spoils. The Warriors may be able to sell this package for years.

Sixers new “Spirit of 76” court is fire

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First, the Sixers nailed the Nike “statement” jersey.

Now, they have announced a new “Spirit of 76” promotion, with seven tribute nights this season honoring the history of the franchise and of the Philadelphia area (and there is plenty of history to honor).

The best part — the “Spirit of 76” court with the bell logo.

Here is the promo vid

I just hope the Sixers team can live up to all the hype.

Wizards’ Markieff Morris to have sports hernia surgery, miss start of camp

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When the Washington Wizards open training camp next Tuesday, starting forward Markieff Morris will not be on the court.

That’s because he will have surgery to repair a sports hernia, a story broken by Candice Buckner of the Washington Post and since confirmed by Chase Hughes at CSNMidAtlantic.com.

While we don’t have details on the surgery, often recovery time for this is just a few weeks, and Morris could well be ready for the start of the season.

Morris averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds a game last season, and the Wizards offense was 5.7 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court last season. With him out, coach Scott Brooks can lean on Jason Smith or Mike Scott for traditional lineups, but don’t be shocked if he tries a little small ball with Otto Porter and/or Kelly Oubre at the three or four.

Morris also is in the midst of a felony assault trial in Arizona (one where he does not need to attend).

Sixers enter camp with Joel Embiid not cleared for 5-on-5, Jahlil Okafor on trade block

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This is the season the 76ers make the leap from team with potential to playoff team fast on the rise.

Maybe.

That’s the plan in Philly, but there are a lot of questions for this team to answer. While a couple of these issues are answered already — Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz are cleared to play and practice with teammates — a couple big ones still hang around. At the top of the list is “how healthy is Joel Embiid?” Coach Brett Brown doesn’t even have that answer yet, reports Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

It’s this simple: The Sixers outscored opponents by 3.3 points per 100 possessions when Embiid was on the court last season, he was a dominant force defensively who scored 20.2 points a game. When he was off the court the Sixers were 11.5 points per 100 possessions worse. They need him to play and play consistently if the Sixers have playoff dreams. It’s unclear when Embiid will return, but know that the Sixers will be cautious with his minutes again when he does get cleared (he has played just 31 games in three seasons).

Does that mean more Jahlil Okafor? Maybe not, the Sixers are still willing to trade him.

The Sixers have shopped Okafor for most of a year and found no deal they like. Okafor battled knee issues last season and, after a summer working to get healthy, other teams will want to see him play a little before talking trade. If he comes to camp slimmed down and his knee looks right, it could revive trade talks. Using a back-to-the-basket game, he averaged 11.8 points a night shooting 51 percent last season, he’s efficient, and some teams could use what he does (off the bench).

It’s going to be an interesting season in Philly. Are they playoff bound?