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Spurs down Rockets to stay perfect at home

By AP - Jan 04,2016 - Last updated at Jan 04,2016

Houston Rockets’ centre Dwight Howard (left) shoots against San Antonio Spurs’ forward Kawhi Leonard during their NBA basketball game in San Antonio on Saturday (AP photo by Darren Abate)

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio hit a season-high 13 three-pointers to beat state rival Houston 121-103 on Saturday, as all four NBA divisional leaders in action recorded victories.

Golden State lost reigning MVP Stephen Curry to a fresh leg injury, but did just enough to beat Denver in overtime, Oklahoma City pulled away in the second half to win comfortably at Charlotte, and Cleveland extended their dominance of Orlando.

San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and Kawhi Leonard added 22 for the Spurs, who pushed their franchise-record home start to a season by notching a 20th straight victory on home court.

They won despite Tim Duncan being held scoreless for the first time in his 19-year career.

Dwight Howard had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets.

Golden State’s Klay Thompson made a driving finger roll basket with 15.6 seconds left in overtime to give the Warriors a 111-108 win against Denver, keeping their undefeated home record intact.

Will Barton, whose two shots late in regulation forced the extra period, missed an off-balance attempt following Thompson’s go-ahead basket. Thompson then made one of two free throws before Barton’s desperation three-pointer at the buzzer hit the rim.

Curry came back following a two-game absence because of a bruised lower left leg, but sustained a contusion on his left shin and didn’t play the entire second half. The reigning MVP finished with five points and four assists in 14-plus minutes.

The Warriors (31-2) had just seven players available for overtime. They blew a 26-point lead before hanging on for their 34th straight regular-season win at Oracle Arena, including a franchise-best start of 16-0 this season.

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried was in a neck brace and strapped to a stretcher as he was wheeled off the court about 10 minutes after the game ended. Faried, who took an elbow to the back of the neck while jostling for a rebound late in overtime, was taken to hospital for tests.

Oklahoma State’s Kevin Durant had 29 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Thunder to a 109-90 win at Charlotte.

Russell Westbrook added 16 points for the Thunder, who put four other players in double figures while winning their fourth straight game. Oklahoma City has won 10 in a row against Charlotte dating to the 2010-11 season.

Kemba Walker had 32 points for the Hornets.

Cleveland extended its succession of wins over Orlando to 13 by beating the Magic 104-79.

LeBron James scored 29 points for the Cavaliers, who led by 31 points in the third quarter and looked capable of surpassing the 40-point margin they beat the Magic by last month.

James was 11 of 18 from the field with five rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes. Kyrie Irving, playing his fifth game since returning from a broken left kneecap, scored 13 points.

Orlando’s starters were held to 20 points. Aaron Gordon scored a team-high 11.

Indiana’s Paul George scored 21 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter to steer the Pacers to a 94-82 win over Detroit.

At the final buzzer, Marcus Morris shoved George twice, sparking a minor scuffle.

George Hill had 18 points for Indiana, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Pistons with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Utah’s Rodney Hood scored a career-high 32 points and the Jazz fought off a stingy Memphis to win 92-87 in overtime.

The Jazz won consecutive games for the sixth time this season, but have yet to win three straight.

Hood knocked down a pair of free throws to put Utah ahead 89-87 with 29.1 seconds left in overtime. He scored 10 points in the first quarter and then carried the Jazz offence late with 17 in the fourth period and overtime combined.

Marc Gasol scored 20 for Memphis but missed a wide-open jumper that would have won the game in regulation.

New Orleans ended a run of six straight losses at Dallas by beating the Mavericks 105-98, led by Anthony Davis’ 31 points and 14 rebounds.

Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez scored a season-high 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Nets over Boston 100-97.

Milwaukee beat Minnesota 95-85 in a game where the main action was the ejection of an enraged O.J. Mayo by coaches and security staff after committing two technical fouls in the first quarter.

Sacramento coach George Karl moved into a tie for fifth on the NBA wins list with 1,155 after a 142-119 win against Phoenix, which has lost eight straight.


The Los Angeles Clippers brought up a sixth successive win by routing hapless Philadelphia 130-99, with DeAndre Jordan leading six players in double figures.

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