Aussie Exum stars in Cavs' NBA defeat

Dante Exum (L) netted 24 of his career-high 28 points in one half against Minnesota

Dante Exum has scored a career-high 28 points but his efforts off the bench were not enough to prevent Cleveland Cavaliers losing for a fourth consecutive NBA game.

The Australian guard, recently acquired in a trade with Utah Jazz, netted 24 points in the second half alone but the Cavs fell 118-103 to the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves.

Exum shot brilliantly in just 24 minutes on court, sinking all four of his three-point attempts as he went 11-of-13 from the field to go with a perfect two free-throws.

His previous career-high was 22 points for Utah against Oklahoma City Thunder in March 2017.

The Cavs trailed 90-65 with four minutes to go in the third quarter and seemed done before Exum got hot.

The 24-year-old - who was drafted No.5 by Utah in 2014 but has been plagued by injuries - drained a pair of threes in the third to start the uprising before sinking back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to cap a 32-6 blitz and give the hosts a 97-96 lead with 8 minutes 29 seconds left.

However, the Timberwolves recovered and scored 14 straight to take control of the game again.

Exum's fellow Australian Matthew Dellavedova played less than four minutes for the Cavs, who have slumped to 10-26.

Thon Maker scored four points for Detroit Pistons in their 106-99 loss to Los Angeles Lakers.

LeBron James starred for the hosts with a triple-double - the 90th of his career and ninth this season - made up of 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.

He was backed up by an Anthony Davis double-double (24 points, 11 rebounds) to secure a fifth straight victory and improve the Western Conference leaders' record to 28-7.

Derrick Rose scored 28 points and former Lakers guard Svi Mykhailiuk had 14 for the Pistons, who have lost nine of 11.

Aaron Baynes had nine points and nine assists in Phoenix Suns' 121-114 home loss to Memphis Grizzlies.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 40 points to set a franchise record for consecutive games with at least 30 with six.

However, it was in vain as 30 points from Jonas Valanciunas led the Grizzlies to a second win in succession.

Goran Dragic tied a career best with seven three-pointers in a 29 points and 13 assists performance to guide Miami Heat to a 122-111 win over Portland Trail Blazers.

Miami improved the NBA's best home record to 17-1 and at 26-10 are third in the Eastern Conference.

Los Angeles Clippers had three players score more than 30 points in their 135-132 win over New York Knicks.

Montrezl Harrell had 34 points while Paul George and Lou Williams added 32 as they overcame 38 points from Knicks forward Marcus Morris to consolidate fourth spot in the west.