NBA: Spurs demolish slumping Pacers for 18th straight victory
INDIANAPOLIS — Tony Parker scored 22 points in the San Antonio Spurs’ franchise-record 18th straight victory, a 103-77 rout of the slumping Indiana Pacers on Monday night.
Boris Diaw added 14 points for the Spurs, who bettered their previous longest winning streak that was set from Feb. 19 through March 31, 1996.
Paul George scored 16 points for the Pacers, who have lost six of seven and their once seemingly safe three-game lead over Miami for the Eastern Conference’s top seed.
While the Spurs (58-16) can’t seem to lose right now, Indiana (52-23), which had the best record in the Eastern Conference since opening night, finished March with an 8-9 record.
Heat 93, Raptors 83
MIAMI — LeBron James scored 32 points, Chris Bosh added 18 and Miami moved into the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a victory over Toronto.
Chris Andersen scored 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting and Mario Chalmers added 12 for Miami, which was again without Dwyane Wade, Greg Oden and Ray Allen.
Miami (51-22, .699) moved percentage points ahead of Indiana (52-23, .693), which lost at home earlier Monday night to San Antonio. It’s the first time all season that Miami has been alone atop the East.
The Heat were down 10 midway through the second quarter, and then closed the half on a 22-9 run to take the lead and never trailed again.
Bobcats 100, Wizards 94
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson each had a double-double and Charlotte rallied from an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Washington, preventing the Wizards from clinching their first playoff berth since 2008.
Walker finished with 21 points and 10 assists, and Jefferson had 19 points and 11 rebounds despite needing seven stitches in the first half to close a gash above his right eye.
The Wizards came in looking to snap the third-longest playoff drought in the NBA, and led by 16 at the half and 11 with 9:13 left in the game.
But Walker scored nine points in the final quarter, helping the Bobcats pull within two games of Washington in the race for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Hawks 103, 76ers 95
ATLANTA — Paul Millsap scored 28 points and Lou Williams added 22 off the bench, rallying Atlanta to a victory that denied Philadelphia its first winning streak in nearly three months.
The Hawks, clinging to the final playoff spot in the East, snapped a six-game losing streak and won for only the seventh time in 27 games. They came into the night one game ahead of the New York Knicks.
Williams hit two crucial 3-pointers from the corner in the closing minutes as the Hawks bounced back from an early 14-point deficit.
The 76ers were coming off a victory over Detroit, snapping an NBA record-tying streak of 26 consecutive losses. But they couldn’t win two in a row for the first time since Jan. 4.
Clippers 114, Timberwolves 104
MINNEAPOLIS — Darren Collison had 28 points and seven assists, and Los Angeles didn’t miss a beat with Blake Griffin out with a back injury against Minnesota.
Chris Paul had 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and Matt Barnes scored 19 points for the Clippers (53-22). Griffin, the team’s leading scorer, warmed up before the game but wasn’t quite ready after being injured on Saturday night against Houston.
Jared Dudley started in his place and scored 16 points, while DeAndre Jordan grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds to help the Clippers pull within two games of Oklahoma City for the second seed in the West.
Kevin Love had 20 points, 13 rebounds and four assists for the Wolves.
Knicks 92, Jazz 83
SALT LAKE CITY — Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points on 11-of-19 shooting, and New York pulled away from Utah to stay one game back of the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
Tyson Chandler added 15 points and nine rebounds, while J.R. Smith scored 13 points and Raymond Felton chipped in 12 points and six assists to help New York (32-43) finish 3-2 on its western trip.
Gordon Hayward scored 18 points, Alec Burks added 17 off the bench and Derrick Favors chipped in 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz (23-52), who lost for the 16th time in their last 18 contests.
New York shot 47 percent (33 of 70) from the field while holding Utah to just 39 percent (33 of 85).
Grizzlies 94, Nuggets 92
DENVER — Zach Randolph had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Mike Conley added 19 points and Memphis kept pace in the playoff race with a victory over Denver.
The Grizzlies moved into a three-way tie with Dallas and Phoenix for seventh in the Western Conference. Memphis plays both teams once more — at the Suns on April 14 and home against the Mavericks in the regular-season finale two days later.
Courtney Lee also scored 19 points for Memphis, which stopped a two-game skid.
Timofey Mozgov tied a career high with 23 points to go with 10 rebounds and Kenneth Faried had 17 points for the Nuggets, who have dropped four in a row.
Bulls 94, Celtics 80
CHICAGO — Mike Dunleavy had 22 points to lead five Bulls in double figures and Chicago broke open a close game with 13 straight points at the start of the fourth quarter to beat Boston.
Joakim Noah had 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, Jimmy Butler had 18 points, Carlos Boozer 16 and Taj Gibson 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Chicago swept the home-and-home series with the Celtics after posting a 107-102 victory in Boston on Sunday.
The Celtics have lost 10 straight on the road to drop to 8-28 away from home. Their last road win was Feb. 10 at Milwaukee.
Brandon Bass and Jerryd Bayless had 18 points apiece for the Celtics.
Pistons 116, Bucks 111
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Greg Monroe had 28 points and 14 rebounds and Detroit ended a three-game skid with a victory over Milwaukee.
Josh Smith scored eight of his 26 points during a 12-0 fourth-quarter run that wiped out a 98-92 Bucks lead and gave the Pistons the lead for good. His 3-pointer with 1:11 to go and a subsequent dunk put the game away in the matchup of the NBA Central Division’s two worst teams.
Brandon Knight had 25 points and Ramon Sessions added 20 points and 11 assists for Milwaukee, which lost its 10th consecutive road game and dropped the season series 3-1 to the Pistons.
Kings 102, Pelicans 97
NEW ORLEANS — DeMarcus Cousins had 35 points and 14 rebounds, and Sacramento snapped a three-game skid by beating New Orleans.
Ray McCallum, starting because of Isaiah Thomas’ right thigh injury, scored 22 points. Rudy Gay also scored 22, including a momentum-swinging 3-pointer after the Pelicans had pulled within a point in the fourth quarter.
Reggie Evans grabbed 12 rebounds before his ejection for an elbow to Anthony Davis’ face on a collision that occurred as Evans went up for a close-range shot.
Davis, returning from left ankle injury that forced him to miss a start on Saturday, had 22 points. Anthony Morrow scored 23 points for the Pelicans, who have dropped two straight on the heels of their season-high, five-game winning streak.