LeBron James toyed with the Hawks in an easy Cavs' victory, while Kawhi Leonard made his return in a Spurs' loss to the Mavericks. The Pistons continue to find ways to lose, and the Lakers and Knicks went into overtime in Madison Square Garden. After a two-game absence, Joel Embiid dropped 28 points and 12 rebounds on the Timberwolves in an overtime win.

Cavs (20-8) defeat Hawks (6-21) - 123-114

The Cavaliers stepped on the floor and scorched the nets. Cleveland shot 75 percent from three-point range and 61.1 percent overall to score 31 points in the first quarter.

But while the Hawks matched the Cavs with 31 of their own to open the game, Cleveland smoked Atlanta 31-17 in the second to go up 62-48 at halftime.

LeBron James scored eight in the third quarter to help push the Cavs' lead to 17 points. Cleveland went up by as much as 24 in the fourth before settling on the nine-point win. The Cavs went 20-38 from deep, and James finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, and 17 assists.

Knicks (14-13) defeat Lakers (10-16) - 113-109 OT

Despite 12 points in the first quarter from Knicks' star Kristaps Porzingis, the Lakers jumped out to a 29-25 lead. New York came back in the second to briefly take the lead with 1:22 in the half, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a shot from downtown to push Los Angeles up one at the break.

Lonzo Ball put on a show in the third quarter. He scored seven points and had an incredible, crowd-pleasing dunk to extend the Lakers' lead to three.

The two teams traded baskets and the lead in the fourth, but New York went up five with less than a minute remaining. A bucket by Caldwell-Pope and three-pointer from Kyle Kuzma tied the game, sending it to overtime.

Michael Beasley scored six points in the extra frame to propel the Knicks to the four-point win. Porzingis had a game-high 37 points and 11 rebounds. Ball had 17 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

76ers (14-13) defeat Timberwolves (16-12) - 118-112 OT

After missing the previous two games, Joel Embiid returned to the Sixers starting lineup to score 13 points and grab four rebounds in the first half.

But the Timberwolves went into halftime with a 51-48 lead. Jimmy Butler led Minnesota with 18 points.

Philadelphia trimmed the lead by one in the third; however, the Timberwolves went up by seven early in the fourth. Neither team scored for a three-minute stretch halfway through the quarter, but with 1:34 remaining, the game was tied 94-94. Butler knocked down two huge three-point shots in the final minute to give Minnesota a two-point lead, but Embiid hit two clutch free throws to send the game into overtime. The Sixers scored the first six points in the extra frame to put the game away. Embiid had 28 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists.

Spurs (19-9) defeat Mavericks (8-20) - 95-89

After missing the first 27 games of the year, Kawhi Leonard finally made his return.

He played just 10 minutes in the first half, scoring nine points and hauling down three rebounds. But the Mavericks held a two-point edge at the break behind 11 points from both Yogi Ferrell and Harrison Barnes.

San Antonio went on a 15-6 run to start the third to take a seven-point lead, but Dallas' guard J.J. Barea scored eight points in the final 1:49 to cut the deficit to two heading into the fourth. The Mavericks reclaimed the lead early, going on an 18-7 run and never looked back. Barnes led the Mavericks with 17 points and six assists. Leonard had 13 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes.

Nets (11-15) defeat Wizards (14-13) - 103-98

The Nets raced ahead in the first quarter 30-22, but the Wizards turned-the-tables in the second, tying the score 51-51 at halftime.

Bradley Beal scored 18 points in the first half to get Washington back in the game. Brooklyn forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson came out in the third to score eight points to give the Nets a one-point edge.

The game remained tight throughout the fourth quarter. After the Wizards went up by one with 5:28 in the game, the two teams didn't score again until DeMarre Carrol made a bucket and foul shot at the 2:08 mark. Beal gave Washington back the lead, but Allen Crabbe answered, drilling a shot from deep to put Brooklyn ahead for good. Hollis-Jefferson had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Nets, while Beal led the Wizards with 28.

Nuggets (15-12) defeat Pistons (14-13) - 103-84

Any hope for the Pistons to end their six-game losing streak started bleakly.

Detroit found themselves down eight points after the first quarter and nine at halftime. The Pistons shot abysmally from the field (33.3%) and scored just 40 first-half points.The Nuggets put any chance of Detroit snapping the streak to bed in the third quarter. Denver's lead swelled to 20 as they cruised to victory. Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 28 points on 11-19 shooting.

Kings (9-18) defeat Suns (9-20) - 99-92

T.J. Warren scored eight points in the first quarter to boost the Suns to an initial 23-21 lead. Phoenix extended their lead to 10 early in the second quarter, but the Kings battled back, making it a two-point game at the half. The two teams came out in the third quarter and exchanged baskets until late in the fourth. Buddy Hield knocked down a three-pointer to put Sacramento up four with 3:46 left, and Zach Randolph scored six points in the final 2:52 to secure the win.