NBA: Spurs win 14th straight, 76ers lose 25th straight
SAN ANTONIO — Austin Daye had 22 points and Tim Duncan added 19 as the San Antonio Spurs earned their 14th straight win with a 113-91 victory Monday night that sent the Philadelphia 76ers to their 25th consecutive loss.
Philadelphia will face Houston on Thursday with the dubious distinction of being a loss shy of tying the NBA record for consecutive losses set by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010-11.
Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills scored 15 points each and Cory Joseph added 12 for San Antonio, which maintained the league’s best record at 54-16. The Spurs did not play starters Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter and Danny Green, but did not need them against the lowly 76ers.
Thaddeus Young and Michael Carter-Williams each scored 19 points, Byron Mullens added 15 and Elliot Williams had 14 for Philadelphia (15-56).
HEAT 93, TRAIL BLAZERS 91
MIAMI — LeBron James scored 32 points, including a layup with 11.4 seconds left, and Chris Bosh capped his 30th birthday by blocking Damian Lillard’s layup in the final moments as the Miami Heat escaped with a win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bosh finished with 15 points and Chris Andersen had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Miami, which won for just the fifth time in 12 games. Mario Chalmers added 11 points for the Heat.
Lillard led the Blazers with 19 points on 3-for-15 shooting. Mo Williams scored 17, Wes Matthews had 15, Nicolas Batum 11 and Robin Lopez 10 for Portland, which was down 17 with just more than 9 minutes remaining.
ROCKETS 100, BOBCATS 89
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — James Harden scored 31 points, Dwight Howard had a double-double in his return to the court and the Houston Rockets defeated the Charlotte Bobcats for their fourth straight win.
Harden had 14 points in the pivotal third quarter and finished 11-of-19 from the field. Terrence Jones added 18 points and seven rebounds in the victory.
Howard had missed the previous three games with an ankle injury, but Houston won all three without him by an average of 23 points. He finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Kemba Walker had 22 points and Al Jefferson had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte, which lost for only the second time in 11 games at home.
SUNS 102, HAWKS 95
ATLANTA — Eric Bledsoe scored 20 points to lead five Phoenix players in double figures and the Suns won their fourth in a row, beating the Atlanta Hawks to pull even with Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Suns buried the Hawks from 3-point range, knocking down 12-of-24 beyond the arc. Bledsoe made all three of his long-range attempts, while Channing Frye was 4-of-9 to account for the bulk of his 18 points. Goran Dragic had 19 points, Markieff Morris 17 and Gerald Green 13.
Atlanta, trying to hold the eighth spot in the East, lost its third in a row after a season-high five-game winning streak. Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll led the Hawks with 19 points apiece.
BULLS 89, PACERS 77
CHICAGO — Taj Gibson led five players in double figures with 23 points and the Chicago Bulls brushed off a poor offensive first half to rally past the Indiana Pacers.
Kirk Hinrich had 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting, Mike Dunleavy scored 13, Jimmy Butler 12 and Joakim Noah added 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Gibson, who was 9 for 15 from the field, also had eight rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench.
The Bulls (40-31) pulled within two percentage points of Toronto (39-30) for third place in the Eastern Conference.
The win also prevented Indiana from clinching the Central Division title on Chicago’s home court. The Pacers are looking to win consecutive division crowns for the second time since joining the NBA (1998-99 and 1999-2000).
THUNDER 117, NUGGETS 96
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant had 27 points and eight assists to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Denver Nuggets.
Caron Butler scored 23 points, his highest total since the Thunder added him right after the trade deadline. Reggie Jackson had 16 points and a career-high 11 assists, and Serge Ibaka added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Thunder, who won their fourth straight.
Durant, who was coming off a 51-point game against Toronto on Friday, is averaging 37 points during the winning streak. The Thunder sat point guard Russell Westbrook so he could rest his surgically repaired right knee.
Ty Lawson scored 25 points for the Nuggets, who had won three of four.
GRIZZLIES 109, TIMBERWOLVES 92
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mike Conley had 23 points and six assists, Marc Gasol added 14 and 12 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies built an early lead and easily dispatched the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves.
Zach Randolph finished with 17 points for Memphis, while Tayshaun Prince and Ed Davis added 12 points apiece. Mike Miller scored 11 as Memphis won its 10th straight home game.
Kevin Love led the Timberwolves with 16 points, but shot 6-of-18 from the field, part of Minnesota shooting 38 percent for the game. Corey Brewer had 15 points and Kevin Martin finished with 13. Gorgui Dieng, in the starting lineup because of injuries on Minnesota’s front line, finished with 11 points and 17 rebounds.
PELICANS 109, NETS 104, OT
NEW ORLEANS — Tyreke Evans scored a season-high 33 points and the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans rallied from 22 down in the third quarter, beating the Brooklyn Nets.
Evans scored 14 as New Orleans closed the third period on a 29-10 run to get back in the game. Anthony Morrow, who did not score until the final 2 minutes of regulation, had 11 points the rest of the way as the Pelicans completed their comeback.
Morrow hit a 3-pointer to give New Orleans a 106-100 lead in overtime and sealed the victory with another 3 to make it 109-102 with 54.5 seconds left.
Paul Pierce had 24 points and Deron Williams 23 for the Nets, who lost for the first time in five games after winning at Dallas in overtime Sunday.
PISTONS 114, JAZZ 94
SALT LAKE CITY — Andre Drummond had 19 points and 14 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons shot a season-best 55 percent to blow by the Utah Jazz.
Rodney Stuckey scored 19, Greg Monroe had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Brandon Jennings added 15 points to help the Pistons snap a 14-game road losing streak in the finale of a four-game Western Conference trip.
Gordon Hayward scored 32 points — his highest total since he had 37 against Oklahoma City on Jan. 7 — to lead the Jazz, who have lost seven of eight.
Detroit went 9 for 17 from 3-point range and ended a five-game losing streak.
CLIPPERS 106, BUCKS 98
LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers made it consecutive 50-win seasons with a lackluster victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Clippers became the ninth NBA team to have different head coaches guide a club to 50 victories in back-to-back seasons. They reached the mark five games earlier under Doc Rivers than they did last season under Vinny Del Negro, when they set a franchise record with 56 wins and captured their first division title. This is Rivers’ fifth 50-win season as a head coach, including four with Boston.
Chris Paul had 14 points and seven assists for the Clippers, who have won 13 of 14 overall and a season-best eight straight at home.
Newly acquired Ramon Sessions had a season-high 28 points for the Bucks, who have lost eight in a row and are a league-worst 13-58.