Spurs hot streak con­tin­ues with win over Rock­ets

The China Post - - SPORTS -

San An­to­nio stretched its streak of dou­ble-digit vic­to­ries to nine with a 110-98 win against Hous­ton on Wed­nes­day, leav­ing the top three teams in the NBA’s South­west Di­vi­sion sep­a­rated by just half a game as the regular sea­son en­ters its last week.

The de­fend­ing cham­pion Spurs moved onto the tail of Hous­ton and also Mem­phis, which drew level with the Rock­ets atop the di­vi­sion by in­flict­ing New Or­leans’ heav­i­est de­feat of the sea­son.

In the Eastern Con­fer­ence, No.1 play­off seed At­lanta had a nar­row win over a Brook­lyn team that still has its post­sea­son hopes in the bal­ance, and Cleve­land se­cured both the Cen­tral Di­vi­sion ti­tle and No.2 seed in the con­fer­ence by de­feat­ing Mil­wau­kee.

San An­to­nio’s Tony Parker scored 27 points and Kawhi Leonard added 20 for the Spurs who over­came a slow start to lead by as much as 22 points be­fore eas­ing up.

Ja­son Terry led Hous­ton with 22 points, while the Rock­ets got only three points from James Harden over the fi­nal three quar­ters.

The Rock­ets and the Spurs meet again on Fri­day in a game that will be a key to de­ter­min­ing the South­west ti­tle.

Mem­phis pulled even with Hous­ton by rout­ing New Or­leans 110-74.

Zach Ran­dolph had 15 points and 13 re­bounds while Jeff Green and Marc Ga­sol also each had 15 points for the Grizzlies, who re­dis­cov­ered their best form af­ter a rocky patch.

An­thony Davis scored 12 points for the Pel­i­cans, who dropped back into a tie with Ok­la­homa City for the West­ern Con­fer­ence’s fi­nal play­off spot.

At­lanta com­pleted a sea­son sweep of Brook­lyn by win­ning 114-111 at the Nets, with Al Hor­ford mak­ing the go-ahead bas­ket on a dunk with 19 sec­onds re­main­ing.

Play­ing with­out in­jured Al­lS­tar Paul Mill­sap and fur­ther un­der­manned af­ter Pero An­tic and Thabo Se­folosha were ar­rested early Wed­nes­day at the scene of a night­club stabbing and didn’t play, the Hawks re­cov­ered af­ter blow­ing a 12-point, fourth-quar­ter lead.

Hor­ford scored 24 points and Mike Scott had 20 points for At­lanta, which won its third straight.

Brook Lopez had 26 points and 10 re­bounds for the Nets, who are level with Bos­ton in sev­enth and eighth in the East.

Cleve­land’s Kyrie Irv­ing scored 27 points to lead the Cava­liers to a 104-99 victory over Mil­wau­kee to clinch the Cen­tral.

LeBron James scored 21 points with nine re­bounds and eight as­sists for the Cavs, in­clud­ing 10 points in the fourth quar­ter.

Michael Carter-Wil­liams scored 30 points for the Bucks, who are sixth in the East stand­ings but yet to clinch a play­off berth.

Dal­las elim­i­nated Phoenix for play­off con­tention by beat­ing the Suns 107-104, with Dirk Now­itzki scor­ing 19 points, in­clud­ing the goa­head bas­ket and a key 3-pointer in the fourth quar­ter.

Phoenix will miss the post­sea­son for the fifth straight sea­son, while the Mav­er­icks were locked into the sev­enth seed in the West when New Or­leans lost at Mem­phis.

Tyson Chan­dler had 12 points and 23 re­bounds, two off his sea­son high, for Dal­las while Gerald Green had a sea­son-high 30 points to lead the Suns.

Toronto ended a run of sixs­traight losses against Char­lotte by beat­ing the Hor­nets 92-74.

De­Mar DeRozan scored 18 points and Lou Wil­liams and Greivis Vasquez each scored 16 points for the At­lantic Di­vi­sion-lead­ing Rap­tors.

Kemba Walker had 15 points for Char­lotte, which is three games off eighth place in the East.

Or­lando’s Vic­tor Oladipo scored on a layup with 1.5 sec­onds left to give the Magic a 105-103 victory over Chicago, spoil­ing Der­rick Rose’s re­turn to the Bulls.

Oladipo had 23 points and Nik Vuce­vic added 22 in the Magic’s third straight win.

Rose started and played for the first time in more than a month since un­der­go­ing knee surgery. The point guard was 3 of 9 from the field and fin­ished with nine points in 19 min­utes.

Jimmy But­ler scored 19 points for the Bulls, who had a last chance af­ter Oladipo’s bas­ket, but an in­bounds pass from Mike Dun­leavy to Pau Ga­sol sailed out of bounds.

Port­land boosted its chances of home ad­van­tage in the play­offs by beat­ing lowly Min­nesota 116-91, with LaMar­cus Aldridge con­tribut­ing 24 points and 13 re­bounds be­fore sit­ting out the fourth quar­ter.

Bos­ton moved into a tie for sev­enth in the East, and elim­i­nated Detroit from play­off con­tention, by win­ning 113-103 at the Pis­tons, thanks chiefly to Isa­iah Thomas’ sea­son­high 34 points.

AP

Dal­las Mav­er­icks guard Ra­jon Rondo #9 drives around Phoenix Suns Eric Bled­soe dur­ing the sec­ond half of an NBA game in Dal­las on Wed­nes­day, April 8.

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