Aldridge, Gay help Spurs hold down Rockets 100-83
SAN ANTONIO (AP) LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and 14 rebounds and Rudy Gay added 21 points as the San Antonio Spurs held Houston to its lowest-scoring game of the season, beating the Rockets 100-83 on Sunday.
The Spurs remained fourth in the Western Conference after preventing a season sweep by the Rockets. Houston owns the NBA’s best record.
San Antonio outscored Houston 19-8 to open the fourth quarter in taking a 94-74 lead with 5 minutes remaining. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni opted to take his starters out two minutes later.
CLEVELAND (AP) – LeBron James struggled before extending his record double-digit scoring streak to 868 games and Cleveland had a rough time with Dallas before putting away the lottery-bound Mavericks.
James, who broke Michael Jordan’s NBA mark for consecutive games with at least 10 points on Friday night, didn’t reach 10 until 7:59 remained. He finished just 5 of 21 from the field but made a pair of 3-pointers as the Cavs finally pulled away with a 15-2 run in the fourth quarter.
James had 16 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, his 17th triple-double this season and No. 72 of his career.
Harrison Barnes scored 30 points to lead Dallas, which has dropped eight of nine.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Damian Lillard had 27 points and nine assists, and Portland held off a late run by Memphis.
The Trail Blazers clinched their fifth straight playoff spot earlier in the evening when Utah won at Minnesota.
CJ McCollum added 20 points and another nine assists for Portland, which is still holding on to third place in the Western Conference with five games remaining. The Blazers have won four of their last five.
Rookie Dillon Brooks had 28 points for Memphis, which sits second-to-last in the West.
WARRIORS 117, SUNS 107
Golden State’s victory was the 263rd under coach Steve Kerr, tying him for third-most in franchise history. Al Attles (557) and Don Nelson (422) hold the top two spots.
Hours before the game, the Warriors received encouraging word on injured guard Pat McCaw, who was released from a Sacramento hospital with a bruised lumbar spine following a terrifying fall during Saturday’s game against the Kings.
Westbrook finished with 26 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists. Paul George scored Oklahoma City’s first 11 points in the second quarter and finished with 27. Carmelo Anthony added 16 and Steven Adams had 14.
The Pelicans got within 104-99 with 1:57 left, but Westbrook scored on a layup, and after a basket by Anthony Davis, George made a 3-pointer.
Davis led the Pelicans with 25 points and 11 rebounds, Ian Clark scored 16 points and E’Twaun Moore had 15.
The Sixers set a team record with its ninth straight game of 30 or more assists – they had 36 on their 48 baskets.
Detroit, playing its third straight game without injured All-Star forward Blake Griffin, avoided elimination from postseason contention for at least one game. Griffin, acquired Jan. 30 from the Los Angeles Clippers, suffered a bone bruise in his right ankle during last Monday’s win over the Lakers.
The Pistons are four games behind Miami – which holds the eighth and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference – with five games remaining for each team.
PACERS 111, CLIPPERS 104
Oladipo shot 11 of 17 from the field and had 12 assists for the playoff-bound Pacers, who have won four in a row over the Clippers.
Neither team led by more than seven points in the fourth quarter, when the Pacers scored on nearly every possession over the last five minutes. They’ve won 12 of their last 16.
DENVER (AP) – Nikola Jokic had 35 points and 13 rebounds, Jamal Murray scored 18 of his 27 points after the third quarter and Denver rallied from eight down in the final minute of regulation to win in overtime.
Paul Millsap had 26 points and 13 rebounds for Denver, which took over in the extra period to strengthen its playoff chances.
The Nuggets (42-35) moved within a game of eighth-place New Orleans, which lost its fourth straight Sunday, and 1 1/2 games of Minnesota, which also lost.
Jabari Parker scored a season-high 35 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Eric Bledsoe had 31 points for Milwaukee (41-36). The Bucks’ magic number for clinching a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference remains at two.
Dante Exum had 14 points and Jonas Jerebko scored 13 points to help Utah climb a half-game ahead of Minnesota for sixth in the Western Conference. The loss kept the Timberwolves one game ahead of New Orleans, which lost at home to Oklahoma City.
The Jazz shot a season-high 60.5 percent from the field and got 50 points from their reserves to split the season series with the Wolves by winning the last two games. Utah has won 25 of its past 30 games.
Bobby Portis had 18 points and hit 4 of 5 from long range, and Sean Kilpatrick added 14 points. Chicago shot 52.4 percent overall from the floor and was 18 for 34 on 3s – matching its season high – as Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg missed the game with an upper-respiratory infection.
Hoiberg returned home before tipoff, leaving associate head coach Jim Boylen to direct Chicago to its second straight win following a seven-game skid.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Buddy Hield scored 19 points to help Sacramento snap a four-game losing streak.
Bodgan Bodganovic had 15 points, while Willie Cauley-Stein added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Kings, who were on the second night of a back-to-back. They lost to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
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