CLEVELAND – Guard Kyrie Irving returned from knee surgery to score 12 points in 17 minutes and the Cleveland Cavaliers easily handled the Philadelphia 76ers 108-86 last night for their fifth straight win.
Irving missed his first five shots in his debut following June surgery to repair a fractured kneecap. He missed the first 24 games and showed rust early, although he made four of five shots during one stretch.
Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored 23 points in a season-low 26 minutes and Matthew Dellavedova scored 20 points off the bench, including four 3-pointers. Both marks were season highs for Dellavedova and missed matching his career highs by one.
Forward Nerlens Noel had 15 points and 12 rebounds and center Jahlil Okafor had nine points and eight rebounds for the Sixers, who have dropped 10 straight again following their lone win of the season.
Chris Bosh scored 29 points and Hassan Whiteside added 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Miami Heat recorded a 116-109 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Heat matched a season high for points and 3-pointers made with 12 to secure their fourth win in their past five games. Dwyane Wade added 18 points and Luol Deng and Gerald Green scored 17 apiece.
Portland guard Damian Lillard finished with a game-high 32 points to go with nine assists. C.J. McCollum finished with 20 points and six assists and the Trail Blazers made 13 3-pointers while losing for the fourth time in five games.
Rookie Karl-Anthony Towns scored 22 of his 24 points after the first quarter as the Minnesota Timberwolves rolled past the Brooklyn Nets 100-85..
Ricky Rubio tied a season high with 15 assists for the Timberwolves. Andrew Wiggins and Kevin Martin added 16 points apiece for the Timberwolves.
Brook Lopez had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who suffered their fifth straight loss. Guard Bojan Bogdanovic added 13 points.
In other results, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns 101-95, the Atlanta Hawks overcame the Orlando Magic 103-100, the Sacramento Kings were 104-94 winners over the Toronto Raptors and the New Orleans Pelicans held off the Denver Nuggets for the 130-125 win.