SPURS SPANK GRIZ­ZLIES

San An­to­nio’s Aldridge, Leonard shine in vic­tory against Memphis

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LAMAR­CUS Aldridge scored 23 points and Kawhi Leonard added 19 to power San An­to­nio over vis­it­ing Memphis 97-90 on Thurs­day, mov­ing the Spurs within two games of NBA-lead­ing Golden State.

Aus­tralian re­serve Patty Mills net­ted 15 points and French guard Tony Parker con­trib­uted 13 as the Spurs im­proved to 55-16 with their third con­sec­u­tive tri­umph, stay­ing within range of the pace-set­ting War­riors (57-14) with 11 games re­main­ing.

Aldridge cracked the 15,000point mark for his NBA ca­reer with a jumper in the fourth quar­ter. Mike Con­ley scored 22 points to lead the Griz­zlies, who fell to 40-32, 1 1/2 games be­hind Ok­la­homa City in a fight for sixth in the Western Con­fer­ence.

Dal­las edged the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers 97-95, scor­ing the fi­nal five points over the last 2:30 of the fourth quar­ter.

Seth Curry’s jump shot pulled the host Mav­er­icks within 95-94 with 2:19 to play and Dal­las took the lead at 96-95 on Har­ri­son Barnes’ jumper with 68 se­conds to play.

The Clip­pers had three chances to an­swer but a Chris Paul miss and two turnovers, the last by Blake Grif­fin with three se­conds re­main­ing, led to a Wes­ley Matthews free-throw to cre­ate the fi­nal mar­gin as J.J. Redick missed a des­per­a­tion three­p­oint at­tempt at the clos­ing buzzer.

Curry fin­ished with 23 points to lead Dal­las while Barnes added 21 and Grif­fin had 21 to lead the Clip­pers.

DeMar DeRozan scored 40 points and the Toronto Rap­tors stretched their win streak to four games, ral­ly­ing from an early 15point deficit to beat the Mi­ami Heat 101-84.

DeRozan made 14-of-25 shots from the floor and 12-of-13 from the free-throw line to achieve 40or-more points in back-to-back games for the first time in his ca­reer af­ter net­ting 42 against Chicago on Tues­day.

The Rap­tors (43-29) took the lead for good af­ter a 20-4 run dur­ing a six-minute stretch over­lap­ping the third and fourth quar­ters.

Brook­lyn’s Brook Lopez scored 19 points to spark the Nets back from an early 15-point deficit to a 126-98 rout of Phoenix Suns, giv­ing the NBA’s los­ing-est team a 15-56 record and back-to-back wins for the first time in a year.

RE­SULTS: Port­land 110 NY Knicks 95, Dal­las 97 LA Clip­pers 95, San An­to­nio 97 Memphis 90, Brook­lyn 126 Phoenix 98, Toronto 101 Mi­ami 84.

AP PIC

Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard (cen­tre) goes past Griz­zlies’ Marc Ga­sol (right) and JaMy­chal Green in their NBA game on Thurs­day.

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