Fri, Apr 10, 2015 - Page 20 News List

San Antonio continue hot streak

WINNERS’ CIRCLE:Tony Parker scored 27 points in the defending champions’ win over the Rockets, while the Cavaliers took the Central title with a win over the Bucks

AP, SAN ANTONIO, Texas

San Antonio stretched their streak of double-digit victories to nine with a 110-98 win against Houston on Wednesday, leaving the top three teams in the NBA’s Southwest Division separated by just half a game as the regular season enters its last week.

Defending champions the Spurs moved onto the tail of Houston and also Memphis, who drew level with the Rockets atop the division by inflicting New Orleans’ heaviest defeat of the season.

In the Eastern Conference, No. 1 playoff seeds Atlanta had a narrow win over a Brooklyn team whose post-season hopes are in the balance, while Cleveland secured both the Central Division title and No. 2 seed in the conference by defeating Milwaukee.

San Antonio’s Tony Parker scored 27 points and Kawhi Leonard added 20 for the Spurs, who overcame a slow start to lead by as much as 22 points before easing up.

Jason Terry led Houston with 22 points, while the Rockets got only three points from James Harden over the final three quarters.

The Rockets and the Spurs meet again today in a game that will be key to determining the Southwest title.

Memphis pulled even with Houston by routing New Orleans 110-74.

Zach Randolph had 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Jeff Green and Marc Gasol also had 15 points each for the Grizzlies, who rediscovered their best form after a rocky patch.

Anthony Davis scored 12 points for the Pelicans, who dropped back into a tie with Oklahoma City for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.

Atlanta completed a season sweep of Brooklyn by winning 114-111 at the Nets, with Al Horford making the go-ahead basket on a dunk with 19 seconds remaining.

Playing without injured All-Star Paul Millsap and further undermanned after Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha were arrested early Wednesday at the scene of a nightclub stabbing and did not play, the Hawks recovered after blowing a 12-point fourth-quarter lead.

Horford scored 24 points and Mike Scott added 20 points for Atlanta, who won their third straight.

Brook Lopez had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who are level with Boston in seventh and eighth in the East.

Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving scored 27 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 104-99 victory over Milwaukee to clinch the Central title.

LeBron James scored 21 points with nine rebounds and eight assists for the Cavs, including 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Michael Carter-Williams scored 30 points for the Bucks, who are sixth in the East standings, but yet to clinch a playoff berth.

Dallas eliminated Phoenix for playoff contention by beating the Suns 107-104, with Dirk Nowitzki scoring 19 points, including the go-ahead basket and a key three-pointer in the fourth quarter.

Phoenix are to miss the postseason for the fifth straight season, while the Mavericks were locked into the seventh seed in the West when New Orleans lost at Memphis.

Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 23 rebounds, two off his season high, for Dallas, while Gerald Green had a season-high 30 points to lead the Suns.

Toronto ended a run of six straight losses against Charlotte by beating the Hornets 92-74.

DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points, while Lou Williams and Greivis Vasquez each scored 16 points for the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors.

Kemba Walker scored 15 points for Charlotte, who are three games off eighth place in the East.

Orlando’s Victor Oladipo scored on a layup with 1.5 seconds left to give the Magic a 105-103 victory over Chicago, spoiling Derrick Rose’s return to the Bulls.

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