Spurs strike Thun­der in 113-88 victory

The China Post - - SPORTS -

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.

AP

(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.

AFP

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