Spurs’ Leonard scores at death to edge Pacers
LOS ANGELES: Kawhi Leonard nailed a clutch jump shot with two seconds remaining to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a 100-99 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
Leonard’s game winning shot capped a 31-point performance for the American in front of a crowd of 18,400 at the AT&T Centre arena.
Leonard drained the shot despite being guarded by Pacers star Paul George. It was then George’s turn at glory but his shot from beyond the arc bounced harmlessly off the rim, ending the contest.
“Coach drew up a good play and LaMarcus (Aldridge) set a good screen for me,” Leonard said about his final shot. “We had about nine seconds. I wanted to take my time and try to get off a good shot and it ended up going in for me.”
The Spurs led 98-97 before Danny Green missed a lay-up with 1:46s to play. Myles Turner took advantage on the other end with a jumper 11 seconds later to give Indiana a 99-98 lead.
After a pair of empty possessions by both teams, Monta Ellis missed two freethrows for the Pacers with nine seconds to play, giving San Antonio a final shot at the victory.
Elsewhere, Anthony Davis reached the 7,000 point milestone and Jrue Holiday snapped his scoring slump as the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Detroit Pistons 109-86.
Davis scored 24 of his game high 33 points in the opening half to become the seventh-youngest player in league history to score 7,000 points.
Holiday finished with 22 points for the Pelicans who improved to 24-37 and ended a three game losing streak.
In Toronto, the Washington Wizards seized control early in the second quarter and never looked back, with a 105-96 win over the Toronto Raptors who had their four game win streak halted.
In Sacramento, Brook Lopez scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets snapped their 16-game losing streak with a 109-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
The New York Knicks meanwhile kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 101-90 win over the Orlando Magic.
RESULTS: Houston 122 LA Clippers 103, Brooklyn 109 Sacramento 100, Minnesota 107 Utah 80, San Antonio 100 Indiana 99, Boston 103 Cleveland 99, Denver 110 Milwaukee 98, New Orleans 109 Detroit 86, Washington 105 Toronto 96, Atlanta 100 Dallas 95, Miami 125 Philadelphia 98, NY Knicks 101 Orlando 90.