Warriors keep NBA lead with comfortable win at Toronto
TORONTO (AP) — Golden State led from start to finish and won 113-89 at Toronto in Friday’s clash of divisional leaders, maintaining the overall NBA lead while sending the Raptors to a fourth-straight loss.
The Warriors stayed just ahead of Eastern Conference leader Atlanta, which won a see-sawing contest against Orlando.
In key Western Conference games, the Los Angeles Clippers won comfortably at Memphis and Portland narrowly beat Oklahoma City to open a seven-point gap atop the Northwest Division.
Golden State’s Klay Thompson scored 25 points and Stephen Curry had 22 for the Warriors who bounced back from a loss at Cleveland the previous day.
Tempers flared after Golden State’s Festus Ezeli pushed Toronto’s Tyler Hansbrough in the throat after they tangled under the basket in the third. Hansbrough responded by chasing after Ezeli, shoving him and throwing a punch that failed to connect. Both players received double technical fouls and were ejected.
Terrence Ross scored 18 points for the Raptors, who remain second in the East despite poor recent results.
Los Angeles’ Chris Paul had 19 points and 13 assists to steer the Clippers to a 97-79 win at Memphis.
DeAndre Jordan added 15 points and 22 rebounds for the Clippers, who had five players in double figures.
Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Portland rallied to beat Oklahoma City 115-112, with LaMarcus Aldridge contributing 29 points and 16 rebounds.
The Blazers overcame a 15-point, third-quarter deficit and tied it on a tip shot by Aldridge with 4:33 to go.
Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, who fell and hit his face on teammate Andre Roberson’s knee in the final seconds, had 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. He became the first player to string together three triple-doubles since LeBron James in 2009.
Atlanta took an early 16-point lead, lost it, then came back to beat Orlando 95-88.
Paul Millsap scored 14 of his 20 points in the first quarter. Led by his 3-point shooting, the Hawks sprinted to a 19-3 lead. The Hawks hit their first eight shots before Orlando rallied to be three points up at halftime.
Atlanta regained the lead with a strong third quarter and stretched the advantage to 10 points in the final.
Nikola Vucevic had 21 points for the Magic.
Houston’s James Harden made a tiebreaking throw with 43 seconds left and followed with a jump shot to give the Rockets a 102-98 victory over Brooklyn.
Harden, who played after spraining his right ankle on Wednesday night, shot just 4 for 15 for 15 points, but had 12 assists.
Terrence Jones scored a season-high 26 points for the Rockets, who have won four straight and moved with 1-1/2 games of Southwest leader Memphis.
Mason Plumlee and Deron Williams had 15 points apiece for the Nets.
Indiana capitalized on the absence of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland lineup and beat the Cavaliers 93-86.
James sat out with soreness in his lower back, while Irving stayed home after hurting his left shoulder.
Rodney Stuckey scored 19 points and George Hill had his first career triple-double of 15 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for the Pacers.
J.R. Smith had 21 points for Cleveland.
New Orleans’ Alexis Ajinca made the go-ahead layup with 26 seconds left and scored a career-high 24 points to help the Pelicans beat Miami 104-102.
The Heat had one more chance, but Dwyane Wade’s 3-point attempt bounced out as time expired.
Eric Gordon scored 20 points for the Pelicans, who have won four straight.
Luol Deng had 22 points for the Heat.
San Antonio ended a four-game skid by winning 107-96 at undermanned Sacramento.
Tony Parker scored 19 points and Kawhi Leonard had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Spurs, who had just six turnovers and made 29 of 32 free throws, offsetting a night they shot below 40 percent from the floor.
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins sat out with a sprained left ankle and bruised left hip, and point guard Darren Collison missed his eighth consecutive game. Sacramento is 2-11 without Cousins.
Chicago’s Jimmy Butler had 28 points and 12 rebounds in a 96-89 win against Minnesota.
Los Angeles’ Wayne Ellington scored 11 straight points in the final 6 minutes to lift the Lakers to a 101-93 victory over Milwaukee.
Philadelphia ended a run of five-straight losses by beating Washington 89-81, with Nerlens Noel contributing 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Boston came from 16 points down in the third quarter to overrun Charlotte 106-98 and win a third straight game.
Utah’s Derrick Favors had 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks as the Jazz comfortably won 104-82 at Denver.
New York ended a run of eight straight losses with a 121-115 win against Detroit, with Shane Larkin making a three-point play in the final minute of the second overtime.