Best of NBA: Jimmy Butler Scores 52 in Bulls' Win Over Hornets

CHICAGO - Jimmy Butler scored 52 points and outdueled Kemba Walker, carrying the Chicago Bulls in a 118-111 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.

Butler was a point shy of his career high, which he got Jan. 14, 2016 at Philadelphia. He scored 20 points in the first half and 17 in the game's final four minutes.

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Butler also had 12 rebounds and six assists while shooting 21 of 22 from the free-throw line. He has scored at least 25 points in four straight games, and his performance Monday surpassed his previous season high of 40 points, which he tallied Wednesday against Brooklyn.

Walker boosted his All-Star candidacy with 34 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Walker, who scored 37 points against Cleveland on Saturday, tallied consecutive 30-point games for the first time since March 7-9, 2016.

Nikola Mirotic had 12 points and Michael Carter-Williams finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for Chicago.

Lebron leads Cavs' rally over Pelicans, 90-82
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 26 points and the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers rallied for a 90-82 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving missed his second straight game because of tightness in his right hamstring. Cleveland dressed only 10 players thanks to a rash of recent injuries.

After Buddy Hield hit two free throws to pull the Pelicans to 84-82 with 2:56 remaining, James scored six straight points and blocked a shot over a 1:47 stretch to seal the Cavaliers' eight win in nine games.

Cleveland's Kevin Love had 12 points and 11 rebounds despite playing only 24 minutes. Channing Frye added 14 points for the defending NBA champions, who have won 13 of 15.

Anthony Davis scored 20 points with 17 rebounds for the Pelicans, whose four-game winning streak came to an end (see full recap).

Jodie Meeks, Magic hand Knicks fifth straight loss
NEW YORK -- Jodie Meeks scored a season-high 23 points, Serge Ibaka and Aaron Gordon each had 22 and the Orlando Magic rolled to a 115-103 victory Monday night over the New York Knicks, who lost their fifth straight game.

Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 13 rebounds and fellow reserve Elfrid Payton added 13 points and 14 assists for the Magic, who were routed in their previous two games but totally turned things around against a Knicks team that played without Kristaps Porzingis or much defensive intensity.

Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points for the Knicks, who have dropped eight of 10 to fall to 16-18.

Two nights after yielding a season-worst 69 points in the first half to James Harden and Houston, the Knicks surrendered 67 to the Magic. Orlando opened a 17-point cushion late in the third quarter on a basket by Ibaka, who had 11 points in the period (see full recap).

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