Manu Ginobili scored 22 points, while Tony Parker had 20 as the league-leading San Antonio Spurs beat the Chicago Bulls 104-96 on Tuesday.
Kawhi Leonard added 16 for San Antonio, who won their seventh straight and 10th in their past 11. The Spurs (47-16) maintained their hold on the NBA’s best record, staying ahead of Oklahoma City and Indiana, who both started play on Tuesday a half-game behind the Spurs.
San Antonio jumped out to a big lead early, taking a 61-33 advantage into halftime, including 18 from Parker. That helped them improve to 24-6 on the road — the NBA’s best mark away from home.
D.J. Augustin led the Bulls with 24 points and Jimmy Butler had 23.
THUNDER 106, ROCKETS 98
In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Kevin Durant scored 42 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Houston Rockets.
Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook scored 24 points and got the best of nemesis Patrick Beverley. During last year’s playoffs, Beverley dived for the ball and ran into Westbrook’s right knee as a timeout was being called, causing the injury that ended Westbrook’s season and cost him about half of this season. It was their first meeting since the incident.
Serge Ibaka had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Thunder, who had lost two straight.
Former Thunder guard James Harden scored 28 points.
PISTONS 99, KINGS 89
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Josh Smith scored 24 points, while Rodney Stuckey added 23 to lift the Detroit Pistons over the Sacramento Kings.
Andre Drummond added 15 points and eight rebounds for Detroit, outscoring DeMarcus Cousins in a matchup of two of the NBA’s top young big men. Cousins had 13 points and 14 rebounds, but shot five-of-15 from the field.
Detroit trailed 54-52 at halftime, but outscored the Kings 20-11 in the third quarter.
Rudy Gay scored 20 points, while Isaiah Thomas added 19 points and eight assists for Sacramento.
The Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak and pulled to within three games of Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
PACERS 94, CELTICS 83
In Indianapolis, Indiana, David West scored 24 points and Andrew Bynum grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds in his Pacers debut, helping suddenly struggling Indiana pull away late for a win over Boston.
Indiana (47-17) ended their longest losing streak of the season at four. Paul George added 12 points as the Pacers extended their Eastern Conference lead to 1.5 games over two-time defending champions Miami in the East.
Boston (22-42) were led by Jared Sullinger with 17 points and Kris Humphries with 15 as its two-game winning streak ended.
Bynum played just 15 minutes, but his first basket gave Indiana a 16-14 lead and the Pacers never trailed again.
TIMBERWOLVES 112, BUCKS 101
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kevin Love had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and J.J. Barea broke out of a horrid shooting slump to score 19 points to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves over the Milwaukee Bucks.
After going five-for-25 in his previous three games, Barea hit seven of 10 shots to help wake the sluggish Wolves up and Kevin Martin scored 26 points to help them finish a four-game homestand at 2-2.
Brandon Knight scored 21 points for the Bucks (13-51), who led at halftime and were looking for their first set of back-to-back victories this season. However, after scoring 61 points in the first half and leading by 11 points in the second quarter, the Bucks were outscored 19-4 to start the fourth quarter.