San Antonio’s Tony Parker put in another brilliant performance to compensate for the absence of his two sidekicks, helping the NBA-leading Spurs to a comfortable 111-86 win at the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.
Two nights after their 11-game winning streak was ended, the Spurs got back on track quickly thanks to Parker, who fell one point short of his third straight 30-point game only because he was so good he could sit out the final minutes of the rout.
In other key games, Chris Paul led the way in his second game back from injury as the Los Angeles Clippers beat New York, Boston survived triple overtime to edge Denver and notch their seventh straight win, Miami’s LeBron James set a scoring streak record in the win over the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City had another big win over Phoenix.
San Antonio’s Danny Green added 14 points to help Parker in the absence of injured pair Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
Joe Johnson scored 19 points for the Nets, who have lost 19 of their past 20 against the Spurs.
Brooklyn’s home woes were matched by their crosstown rivals, the New York Knicks, who were beaten 102-88 by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Paul scored 25 points and reserve Jamal Crawford had 27 for the Clippers, whose form had been shaky, but who could look forward to a return home after yesterday’s game in Philadelphia, which ended an eight-game trip.
Carmelo Anthony had 42 points — his fifth 40-point game this season — for the Knicks, but made only one basket in the fourth quarter.
The Boston Celtics won a triple-overtime thriller against the Denver Nuggets, taking a 118-114 victory.
Paul Pierce had a triple-double with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists for Boston, including a vital three-pointer which tied the game at the end of second overtime.
Kevin Garnett had 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Celtics, who curiously remain unbeaten since Rajon Rondo’s season-ending knee injury.
Ty Lawson scored 29 points to lead the Nuggets, who had won nine in a row.
Miami’s James set a franchise record scoring streak as the Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-97 and stretched their winning run to five games.
James had 32 points on 12-for-18 shooting to bring up a record fifth straight game with at least 30 points.
Dwyane Wade scored 30 for Miami, who moved 2.5 games clear of New York atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Kobe Bryant had 28 points and nine assists for the Lakers, who had eight turnovers to none in the final quarter.
The Oklahoma City Thunder beat Phoenix 97-69, meaning they had beaten the Suns by a combined 59 points over two nights.
Thabo Sefolosha made five three-pointers, a career high, while Russell Westbrook scored 24 points in 28 minutes for the Thunder, who have won 10 straight against the Suns.
Markieff Morris was the only Phoenix player in double figures with 12 points.
Memphis’ Tayshaun Prince scored 18 points, hitting all eight of his shots from the field, as the Grizzlies pulled away in the second quarter before coasting to a 105-88 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas scored 17 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and John Salmons also had 23 points to help rally the Kings to a 117-111 win over the Houston Rockets.
The Orlando Magic snapped a 12-game losing skid with a 110-104 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, while the Toronto Raptors recorded a 102-89 home victory over the New Orleans Hornets.