CLEVELAND – The only drama was guessing when Kyrie Irving would cut into his birthday cake.
After a few strange days, the Cavs got back to business.
LeBron James scored 26 points, Kevin Love returned to the lineup to add 24 and Irving celebrated turning 24 by flirting with a triple-double as the Cavaliers downed the Milwaukee Bucks 113-104 on Wednesday night.
“It’s great basketball,” James said of Cleveland’s solid all-around performance. “Everyone’s in a great rhythm. The ball is moving, everyone’s in a great rhythm right now and it’s just good ball.”
Irving finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Tristan Thompson added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, which maintained its grip on the top seed in the East.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 points, and Jerryd Bayless had 15 for Milwaukee. The Bucks lost for the fourth time in five games.
It was a relatively uneventful night for the Cavs following three weird days.
On Monday, James unfollowed the Cavaliers’ account on Twitter, leading to speculation he was at odds with the organization. James acknowledged he had merely slipped into playoff mode — when he shuns social media — a little earlier than usual, but that didn’t stop Cleveland fans from worrying.
Then, on Wednesday, James was quoted in a Bleacher Report story saying he would take a pay cut to play with good friends Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade in the future.
James said the foursome has talked about it before, but the four-time MVP isn’t sure it will ever happen.
Spurs 112, Heat 88
In San Antonio, Kawhi Leonard matched his career high with 32 points before leaving with a bruised quadriceps as the Spurs moved to 36-0 at home this season.
Suns 119, Lakers 107
In Phoenix, Kobe Bryant played his last road game against the Suns, scoring 17 points while being cheered on by a loud, pro-Los Angeles crowd in a loss.
Warriors 114, Clippers 98
In Oakland, Stephen Curry scored 33 points, Klay Thompson added 32 points with seven 3-pointers, and Golden State (64-7) stayed one game ahead of the 1995-96 Bulls’ pace in their chase for a record 72 wins.
Pistons 118, Magic 102
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Andre Drummond had 30 points and 14 rebounds.
Trail Blazers 109, Mavs 103
In Portland, Damian Lillard had 27 points and six assists.
Jazz 89, Rockets 87
In Houston, Derrick Favors’ dunk with 1.6 seconds left lifted Utah past the Rockets.
Celtics 91, Raptors 79
In Boston, Isaiah Thomas scored 23 points, and Evan Turner added 17.
Knicks 115, Bulls 107
In Chicago, rookie Kristaps Porzingis matched his season high with 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Carmelo Anthony added 24 points.
Nuggets 104, 76ers 103
In Denver, Emmanuel Mudiay made a jumper at the buzzer to finish with 27 points and give the Nuggets a victory over Philadelphia.
Hawks 122, Wizards 101
In Washington, reserve Dennis Schroder scored 23 points, and Kyle Korver connected on five 3-pointers.
Timberwolves 113, Kings 104
In Minneapolis, Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks to lead Minnesota.