Thunder stop Spurs for seventh straight win

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LOS ANGELES: Kevin Durant tallied 31 points, Russell Westbrook scored 29 as the Oklahoma City Thunder extended their winning streak to seven with a 111-92 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

The Thunder took advantage of the Spurs decision to sit four of its five regular starters and sixth man Manu Ginobili.

Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker also didn’t suit up for San Antonio at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

In their absence, David West and Jonathon Simmons each had 17 points to lead the Spurs.


“It’s not their full complement of players, and I think we continued to evolve and get better,” Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said.

“I think we can hopefully learn and get better from this game. I still think, for us, it’s about getting more consistent all the way through.”

Both teams are likely locked into their playoff positions in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City will be the No. 3 seed and San Antonio figures to be No. 2 behind the Golden State Warriors.

The Thunder, who have won their last half dozen contests by an average margin of 16 points, used their regular lineup but didn’t accomplish much until the second half.

Oklahoma City went on a 8-0 burst midway through the third quarter to open a 13-point lead with just over four minutes left in the quarter. The Thunder eventually outscored the Spurs 35-19 in the quarter — the most points given up by the Spurs in a quarter this season.

Oklahoma City led by just 48-44 at halftime.

DeRozan powers Raptors past Pelicans
Just 24 hours after being thrown out in the fourth quarter for arguing with the referee, DeMar DeRozan scored 11 of his game-high 23 points in the third quarter to lift the Toronto Raptors to a 115-91 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Toronto not only ended a modest two-game road-losing streak, but they matched their franchise record for most victories in a season, with 10 games to go.

The Raptors have increased their win total in each of the last five seasons.

In addition to DeRozan, the Raptors were led by reserve forward Patrick Patterson with 16 points, Norman Powell with 15 and Luis Scola with 12.

Hayward not doing T’Wolves any favors
Gordon Hayward scored 16 of his 18 points in the final quarter as the Utah Jazz toppled the Minnesota Timber¬wolves 93-84.

Derrick Favors scored 19 points for Utah, which went 3-2 on a season-long five-game road trip.

The Jazz have won seven of nine. Rodney Hood had 15 points, Trey Lyles came off the bench to equal that total and Rudy Gobert grabbed 11 rebounds.

Bulls’ playoff hopes fading
Dewayne Dedmon scored a career-high 18 points and had a season-high 13 rebounds in leading the Orlando Magic to an easy 111-89 victory over the struggling Chicago Bulls.

The Magic snapped a six-game losing streak. The Bulls lost their third consecutive game as their once-legitimate playoff hopes continued to fade.

Dedmon, in his third NBA season, made nine of 14 shots and played only 22 minutes. He was starting in place of injured Nikola Vucevic.

James a triple threat
LeBron James produced the 42nd career triple-double, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 107-93 win over the New York Knicks.

James finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. On Monday in a 124-91 win over Denver, James had 33 points 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

“I’m locked in. I’m feeling the best I’ve felt in years,” James said of posting two triple-doubles in the same week.

Kevin Love tallied his 31st double-double this season with 28 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland.

Pistons streak snapped
Paul Millsap had 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists and the Atlanta Hawks snapped the Detroit Pistons’ five-game winning streak with a 112-95 victory at The Palace.

AFP

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