Spurs strike Thunder in 113-88 victory
Kawhi Leonard matched a career high with 26 points, and the San Antonio Spurs rolled past the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-88 on Tuesday night for their eighth straight victory.
The defending NBA champions have won each game during their streak by double digits, and by an average of 20.9 points. Tim Duncan had 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for the Spurs, who still have a shot at the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
San Antonio point guard Tony Parker left the game with tightness in his right Achilles tendon and did not return.
Russell Westbrook scored 17 points for the Thunder, who lost their fourth straight and fell a half-game behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference standings.
Pelicans 103, Warriors 100 Anthony Davis scored 23 of his 29 points in the second half, including two free throws with 9 seconds left, and New Orleans moved into eighth place in the Western Conference by beating Golden State.
Stephen Curry scored 25 points, hitting five 3-pointers, but his final attempt that would have tied the game went in and out.
That allowed the Pelicans to move back into the West’s last playoff spot by a half-game over Oklahoma City, which lost to San Antonio.
Quincy Pondexter had 20 points for New Orleans, including his fourth 3 of the game to tie it at 95.
Draymond Green had 24 points for Golden State and Andrew Bogut blocked nine shots.
Heat 105, Hornets 100 Goran Dragic scored 28 points, his most since coming to Miami in a February trade, and the Heat helped their playoff chances by topping Charlotte.
Luol Deng scored 21 for the Heat, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Dwyane Wade had 19 and Hassan Whiteside added 12 on 6-for-8 shooting for Miami.
Gerald Henderson led the Hornets with 29 points. Kemba Walker scored 17, Mo Williams had 15, Bismack Biyombo had a 12-point, 12-rebound night, and Marvin Williams grabbed 13 rebounds for Charlotte.
Down 11 early in the fourth, Charlotte trimmed the deficit to three on three occasions — surely bringing back memories of how Miami wasted a 15-point late lead in what became a 99-98 loss at Detroit on Saturday. The Heat hung on this time. Hawks 96, Suns 69 Atlanta set a single-season franchise high with its 58th victory, getting 16 points each from DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague in a win over Phoenix.
Mike Muscala, starting for injured All-Star forward Paul Millsap, finished with 16 points and Al Horford added 14 for the Eastern Conference champion Hawks.
The Suns missed 31 of 40 shots from the field in the second half to score a season low.
Gerald Green, with 15 points, was the only Phoenix player to score in double figures. Eric Bledsoe, ejected in the third quarter for arguing with officials, led the Suns’ starters with nine points.
The 1986- 87 and 1993- 94 Hawks each won 57 games in the regular season.
Clippers 105, Lakers 100 Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick scored 27 points apiece and the Clippers completed a 4-0 season sweep of their downtrodden Staples Center co-tenant.
Chris Paul had 19 to go over 13,000 in his career for the Clippers, who have won four in a row and 11 of 12. They beat the Lakers for the second time in 48 hours, winning 106-78 after leading by 43.
The Lakers hung around in the rematch, and even led by four points early after never leading Sunday. Jordan Clarkson led them with 20 points, all in the first three quarters. Tarik Black added 16 points and Wesley Johnson 15.
DeAndre Jordan had 17 rebounds and Paul had 10 assists for the Clippers.
Kings 116, Timberwolves 111 Omri Casspi scored 16 of his career- high 31 points i n the third quarter and Sacramento overcame a sluggish start to beat Minnesota.
The Kings gave up 31 points in the first quarter and were misfiring offensively until Casspi and Rudy Gay got going to help Sacramento end its five-game losing streak.
Sim Bhullar, Sacramento’s 7- foot- 5 center, made history when he checked in for the final 16.1 seconds, becoming the first player of Indian descent to play in an NBA game.
Casspi went 12 of 20 from the floor and made four 3-pointers, three in the pivotal third quarter. Gay had 33 points, seven rebounds and five assists in his first game back after suffering a concussion last week.
Kevin Martin matched his season high of 37 points and had eight assists for the Timberwolves.
(Above) Sim Bhullar #32 of the Sacramento Kings stands on the court during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California on Tuesday, April 7. (Right) New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis shoots off balance in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in New Orleans, Louisiana on Tuesday.