ORLANDO, Fla. — Dwight Howard had a season-high 31 points and 16 rebounds and also blocked three shots to help the Orlando Magic win their fourth straight game, 106-81 over the winless Washington Wizards on Saturday night.
Howard, who leads the NBA in blocked shots, hit 11 of 13 shots and nine of 14 free throws. Mickael Pietrus added 18 points, and Keith Bogans had 13 for Orlando (4-2).
Nick Young had 20 points for the Wizards (0-5), the only team in the Eastern Conference without a victory this season.
Hornets 100, Heat 89
NEW ORLEANS — Chris Paul had 21 points and 13 assists for his sixth straight double-double to help New Orleans snap a two-game losing streak. Paul set an NBA record for consecutive games at the start of a season with at least 20 points and 10 assists, breaking the mark set by Oscar Robertson in 1968.
Cavaliers 106, Bulls 97
CHICAGO — LeBron James scored 41 points and Cleveland beat Chicago. James was at it again after a big performance in a 14-point win over Chicago at home Wednesday night. This time, he scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to start a 15-0 run as the Cavaliers turned a three-point deficit into an 89-77 lead.
Suns 104, Bucks 96
MILWAUKEE — Shaquille O’Neal had 29 points and 11 rebounds in his return from a one-game break, leading Phoenix to a victory over Milwaukee. O’Neal was 12-of-16 from the field a night after skipping a game in Chicago as part of a strategy to occasionally rest him during the season.
Pacers 98, Nets 80
INDIANAPOLIS — Danny Granger scored 23 points to lead Indiana, making 10 of 12 free throws to offset 6-for-17 shooting from the field. Indiana guard T.J. Ford nearly had a triple-double, but settled for 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Blazers 97, Timberwolves 93
PORTLAND, Ore. — LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Brandon Roy added 24 points and nine assists and Portland beat Minnesota to improve to 3-0 at home. Al Jefferson finished with 27 points after starting off 3-for-10 from the field for Minnesota in its fifth straight loss.
BULLS: Guard Kirk Hinrich needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and will miss up to three months.
Hinrich was hurt Friday night in Chicago’s 100-83 victory over Phoenix.
“I’m frustrated,” Hinrich said. “I worked hard in the offseason. I’m still trying to figure out how long 12 weeks is going to be and, really, what I’m going to do with myself.”
Hinrich, making his first start, was injured in the third quarter trying to knock the ball away from Amare Stoudemire, The guard initially thought he hyperextended the thumb but realized it was more serious as the swelling mounted.