Trail Blazers soar to 13th straight victory, top Clippers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 23 points and CJ McCollum added 21 to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to their 13th straight victory, 122-109 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night.
Portland’s dynamic guard duo led five Blazers players in double-figures, with Maurice Harkless scoring 21 points, Jusuf Nurkic 17 along with 12 rebounds and Al-Farouq Aminu adding 16 points.
Lou Williams led the Clippers with 30 points. Montrezl Harrell had 24 points and DeAndre Jordan had 16 rebounds for Los Angeles, which lost its third straight and fell two games back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Clippers have 13 games remaining.
THUNDER 132, RAPTORS 125
TORONTO (AP) — Russell Westbrook had 37 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds for his fifth straight triple-double, Steven Adams scored 25 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped the Toronto Raptors’ 11-game winning streak.
Paul George scored 22 points and Carmelo Anthony had 15 as the Thunder extended their winning streak to six.
DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points and Kyle Lowry fouled out with 22 points and 10 assists as the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors suffered just their sixth home loss of the season. Toronto is 29-6 at Air Canada Centre, the best home record in the NBA.
DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and Raptors coach Dwane Casey were all ejected in the final minute for complaining to the officials. DeRozan was incensed after not getting a call on his drive with 30 seconds left, and picked up two technicals in the following 22 seconds.
ROCKETS 129, TIMBERWOLVES 120
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — James Harden had 34 points and 12 assists, and Houston held off a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves for the Rockets’ 26th win in 28 games.
The West’s top team led by as many as 25 before the Timberwolves, holding on for dear life in a tightening playoff race, pulled within five in the fourth. The loss dropped the Wolves into the eighth playoff spot after they started the day in a three-way tie for fifth. Harden had 11 points in the final 6:34, including a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left that effectively secured the win.
Jeff Teague led Minnesota with 23 points, Andrew Wiggins had 21, and Karl-Anthony Towns and Jamal Crawford each added 20. The Wolves got a burst of energy after a fourth-quarter scuffle between Gorgui Dieng, Paul and Gerald Green. Green was ejected for coming to Paul’s defense after a frustrated Dieng pushed him down after a foul.
PELICANS 108, CELTICS 89
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 34 points and 11 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the banged-up Boston Celtics.
Second-year pro Cheick Diallo had a season-high 17 points and Nikola Mirotic added 16 for New Orleans, which was desperate to win after dropping four of its previous five while in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
Davis capped his night by hitting a baseline fallaway as he was fouled by Abdel Nader to make it 106-85 with 3:35 to go. The shot brought the crowd to its feet as Davis stumbled toward the sideline, where he exchanged high-fives with several fans before walking to the foul line to hit his foul shot. The play capped a 22-6, fourth-quarter run to blow open what had been a tight game for most of the first three quarters.
Jayson Tatum scored 23 for Boston, which has lost three of four and was playing its third straight game without either All-Star guard Kyrie Irving (sore left knee) or guard Marcus Smart (sprained right thumb).
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