Wed, Mar 20, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Spurs extend streak; Nuggets snag playoff spot


San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan, right, drives to the basket against Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson in their NBA game in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday.

Photo: AP

The San Antonio Spurs on Monday rolled to their season-best ninth straight win by toppling the two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors with a 111-105 victory.

DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points and LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds as the NBA’s hottest team guaranteed themselves a league-record 22nd straight winning season.

The Spurs won their 11th consecutive home game and improved to 42-29 on the season.

“We worked very hard. They are the defending NBA champs, and they move and cut better than anybody in the world. The effort was there for 48 minutes and we learned a lot,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Rudy Gay added 17 points for the Spurs, while Derrick White put up 12 points and Patty Mills 10 points.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 25 points, as Kevin Durant returned from a two-game injury absence to score 24 points for the Warriors.

“We had a couple of breakdowns at crunch time,” Curry said. “We fought hard and they just made shots down the stretch.”

Klay Thompson added 14 and Draymond Green racked up 10 points for Golden State, who dropped to 47-22 on the season and are now tied with Denver for top spot in the Western Conference standings.

The Spurs defense has been a catalyst during their winning streak, but when asked what the Spurs did to bottle up the Warriors, Thompson said: “Absolutely nothing. We just missed shots.”

Australia’s Andrew Bogut, who signed with the Warriors on March 6 after playing this season in the Australian National Basketball League, made his season debut for the Warriors. He played 10 minutes and finished with seven points and seven rebounds.

“He looks good. He is a big help,” Curry said of Bogut.

Bogut played for the Warriors from 2012 to 2016 and was a key member of Golden State’s 2014-2015 championship team.

The Spurs took a four point lead at the end of the third quarter then cruised from there, leading by as much as nine points in the fourth.

Davis Bertans nailed a three-pointer with a little less than two minutes to play to give San Antonio a 109-102 lead.

Elsewhere, Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 13 rebounds to help the Denver Nuggets punch their ticket to the post-season by rallying past the Boston Celtics 114-105.

Will Barton added 20 points for Denver, who have won four straight.

The Nuggets improved to 47-22 on the season and are tied with Golden State for the best record in the Western Conference Pacific Division.

The Nuggets won 46 games last season, but missed the playoffs after losing in overtime to Minnesota on the final day of the regular season.

Pelicans 129, Mavericks 124

Dirk Nowitzki reached a milestone, but his Dallas teammates failed to make it a celebratory evening, blowing a four-point lead in the final 19.1 seconds of regulation as visiting New Orleans pulled out the overtime victory.

Nowitzki made his first two shots, both trademark jumpers, in the opening four minutes to surpass Wilt Chamberlain as the NBA’s sixth-leading all-time scorer.

Julius Randle finished with a game-high 30 points for New Orleans, and Elfrid Payton recorded his fifth consecutive triple-double with 19 points (11 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime), 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

With 29 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, Luka Doncic racked up another triple-double for the Mavericks.

Trail Blazers 106, Pacers 98

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