Spurs stretch home win streak with Warriors up next

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LOS ANGELES: Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 22 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat Portland 118-110 Thursday (Friday in Manila), boosting their home record this season to 34-0 and stretching their overall NBA home win streak to 43 games.

French guard Tony Parker added 18 points and 16 assists, his most since 2012, while Australia’s Patty Mills came off the bench to contribute 17 points in the triumph, which improved the Spurs to 58-10 this season.

Not since falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 12 of last year have the Spurs been defeated in San Antonio.

But that streak will receive a major test Saturday when the Spurs host the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, the first of three meetings between the Western Conference powerhouses over the final month of the season.


The Warriors have lost 32 games in a row in San Antonio. Golden State has not beaten the Spurs in San Antonio since February 14, 1997, when Warriors star Stephen Curry was eight years old.

The Spurs’ streak is the third-longest in NBA history behind a 44-game Chicago run in 1995-96 and the ongoing streak of Golden State, which has won 50 home games in a row over two seasons.

San Antonio’s 34-0 home start is the second best home run to open an NBA season, trailing only the 37 in a row by Chicago in 1995-96.

Golden State, which is 61-6 and chasing Chicago’s 1995-96 team’s 72-10 mark for the all-time best season in NBA history, could move past both those home marks this season but have not yet played enough home games.

The Spurs led 56-54 at half-time then scored the first 10 points of the third quarter and surged ahead by as much as 19 in the period. Leonard scored 11 points in the third quarter to spark the run and San Antonio never looked back to the finish.

Hornets get rare Miami win
At Miami, Kemba Walker had 21 points, seven assists and seven rebounds as the Charlotte Hornets rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat the host Heat 109-106. Al Jefferson added 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Hornets broke a 12-game losing streak in games at Miami.

Britain’s Luol Deng led the Heat with 22 points and nine rebounds, but left the game with a bloody mouth after colliding in the final seconds with Jeremy Lin, who made four late free throws to secure victory for the Hornets.

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each scored 28 points to lift the Toronto Raptors over host Indiana 101-94 in overtime. The Raptors improved to 46-21, while the Pacers fell to 1-7 in overtime games and slid to 36-32 overall.

John Wall had 16 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds—his seventh career NBA “triple-double”—while Marcus Thorn¬ton scored 18 points to spark the Washington Wizards past host Philadelphia 99-94. The Wizards improved to 33-35, 1 1/2 games behind Chicago for the last Eastern Conference playoff berth.

At Chicago, Doug McDer¬mott came off the Bulls bench to score 25 points and lead the hosts over Brooklyn 118-102. Jimmy Butler scored 22 points and passed out seven assists for the Bulls.

Tim Hardaway produced 21 points in his first Atlanta start to lead eight double-figure scorers for the Hawks in a 116-98 victory over visiting Denver.

At Milwaukee, Giannis Ante¬tokounmpo scored 15 points and added 11 assists, six rebounds and three blocks as the Milwaukee Bucks beat Memphis 96-86, handing the Grizzlies their fourth loss in a row.

Trey Lyles came off the bench to score 17 points and lead a balanced scoring attack that powered Utah over Phoenix 103-69.

AFP

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