The Cleveland Cavaliers are still streaking and that incredible streak tied a franchise record on Wednesday. LeBron James had 32 points and 11 rebounds in the Cavs' 101-95 win over the Sacramento Kings for their 13th straight victory. James sealed the win with a late three-pointer with just 15 seconds left, as Cleveland rallied from a 14-point deficit to remain unbeaten since November 11th. The Cavaliers also won 13 in a row in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. The Kings fought hard but dropped their 17th game of the year, despite Zach Randolph's 18 points and 10 rebounds and Buddy Hield's 17 points. After a 5-7 start, the Cavaliers are now in second place in the Eastern Conference at 18-7, including 9-4 on their home floor. James shot 12-of-18 from the floor and fell an assist shy of a triple-double, as he scored the game-sealing three on a play called "Chicago", which was the same play that lead to a game-winning shot in the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls. The Cavaliers can set the franchise record when they take on the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. The Kings move on to visit the New Orleans Pelicans that same night.
Durant, Cousins Go Off in Shorthanded Victories
Two teams were missing big-time parts on Wednesday night, so they turned to the other star on their team to lead them to victory. First, the Golden State Warriors beat the Charlotte Hornets, 101-87, without Steph Curry and Draymond Green, thanks to Kevin Durant. The former Oklahoma City Thunder star put up a triple-double of 35 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, leading the defending champs to their 20th win of the year, and into a first-place tie with the Houston Rockets atop the Western Conference. Klay Thompson added 22 points, seven of which came in the fourth, as the Warriors won their fifth straight overall, all on the road, and seventh straight against the Hornets. They will be without Curry for about two weeks due to an ankle injury, so Durant will be leading the way until just about Christmas. Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans were without fellow big man, Anthony Davis, in a 123-114 win over the Denver Nuggets. Cousins took the reigns and put up 40 points and 22 rebounds, along with four blocks, as they improved to 2-1 without Davis. New Orleans shot 53 percent from the floor, as Jrue Holiday helped that effort with 27 points, while E'Twaun Moore chipped in 14. Gary Harris had 24 points in the loss for the Nuggets, who were also short-handed without Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap. The Pelicans led just about the entire way, but never really pulled away until a 20-3 run in the fourth quarter. Both the Warriors and the Pelicans are proving their depth in these situations, which could bode well for them come playoff time.
Kansas, Florida Fall in Top-5 Upsets
Two top-5 teams fell in college basketball on Wednesday night, including the Kansas Jayhawks dropping their first game of the season, 74-65, at home against unranked Washington. The second-ranked Jayhawks struggled from beyond the arc at 25 percent, while the Huskies got five three-pointers from Matisse Thybulle, who had 19 points in the upset victory. Lagerald Vick had 28 points for Kansas, who fell to Washington for the first time since December 1974. Jaylen Nowell had 15 points, while Noah Dickerson added 13 points and 14 rebounds, as the Huskies improved to 7-2. Kansas dropped to 7-1 and will host No. 16 Arizona State on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Florida Gators' struggles continued, as the No. 5 team in the country suffered their third straight loss, 65-59, against Loyola-Chicago at home. Aundre Jackson scored 23 points and Cameron Krutwig chipped in 14 for the Ramblers, who shot 52 percent on the night, including 50 percent from three-point range. Conversely, the Jayhawks finished at just 36 percent as a team and 10 percent from beyond the arc. It is the Gators' second straight upset loss at home, as they also fell to Florida State earlier in the week, and that was after blowing a 17-point lead in a loss to top-ranked Duke. The Gators' schedule only gets tougher, as they will visit No. 17 Cincinnati on Saturday, while the 9-1 Ramblers hosts Norfolk State earlier that day.