Spurs beat Thunder 103-99, climb into 4th spot in West
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-99 on Thursday night to climb back into fourth place in the Western Conference.
San Antonio matched Oklahoma City at 44-32 in jumping two spots in the standings. The Thunder are fifth, a half-game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Aldridge scored 19 points in the first half, then drove past Steven Adams for a dunk and a three-point lead with 52 seconds left as the Spurs snapped a two-game slide.
Paul George led Oklahoma City with 26 points and had six assists. Russell Westbrook added 19 points and 11 assists, but had a pair of 3-pointer miss the rim and land out of bounds in the final minutes.
BUCKS 116, WARRIORS 107
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points, Kevin Durant’s return from a rib injury ended early with a second-quarter ejection, and Milwaukee beat Golden State.
The Bucks beat the Warriors for just the second time in their past 10 meetings and stayed five games ahead of Detroit for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Sidelined by a fractured rib the previous six games, Durant argued after no foul was called on a drive through three defenders. Official Tre Maddox whistled him for a technical foul, then gave him another and tossed him with 2.4 seconds left. Khris Middleton converted two free throws to cap an 11-0 run that gave Milwaukee a 58-49 halftime lead.
Still without Stephen Curry (ankle sprain) and Klay Thompson (broken thumb), the Warriors lost their third straight game and seventh in their past 10 outings. Houston clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, and Golden State fell a game behind East-leading Toronto for the NBA’s second-best record.
PISTONS 103, WIZARDS 92
DETROIT (AP) — Andre Drummond scored 24 points and pulled down 23 rebounds, and Detroit beat Washington for its fifth win in six games.
The Pistons remained five games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the last Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Bucks won at the Golden State Warriors later on Thursday.
Detroit was missing power forward Blake Griffin, who was a late scratch with an ankle contusion. Griffin is averaging 19.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 25 games since joining Detroit late January.
Anthony Tolliver, starting for Griffin, scored 14 points, while Reggie Jackson finished with 13 points and eight assists.
Bradley Beal had 15 points for Washington and Kelly Oubre added 14. The Wizards have lost four of five.
HEAT 103, BULLS 92
MIAMI (AP) — Josh Richardson scored 22 points, Goran Dragic added 17 and Miami trimmed its magic number for clinching a playoff berth to one by topping Chicago.
Justise Winslow scored 13 points and Kelly Olynyk finished with 11 for the Heat (41-35), who’ve won a season-best eight consecutive home games and moved within a half-game of Washington for the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
The Heat need one more win or one more Detroit loss to wrap up their 20th postseason trip in 30 seasons. The Pistons are in New York on Saturday, in a game that should be over before the start of Miami’s home game against Brooklyn.
Bulls center Robin Lopez was ejected after picking up a pair of technicals with 8:43 remaining, ending his 13-point, six-rebound night. The Bulls dropped their seventh straight, making this the third losing streak that lasted at least that long for Chicago this season.
PACERS 106, KINGS 103
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Victor Oladipo scored 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws with 2.5 seconds remaining, and Indiana held on to beat Sacramento.
Bojan Bogdanovic had 25 points, Thaddeus Young added 18 points and eight rebounds, and Darren Collison finished with eight points and nine assists against his former team to help the Pacers extend their winning streak to four.
Indiana remained percentage points behind fourth-place Philadelphia in the East.
Cyclone fences were erected around Golden1 Center and extra members of law enforcement in riot gear were lined up outside the arena in anticipation of a possible third day of protests over the fatal police shooting of Stephon Adams, an unarmed 22-year-old African-American who was shot in his grandparents’ backyard on March 18 as police searched for a person suspected of attempting to break into several homes.