Pacers notch biggest win of season, thrash Nuggets
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — NBA-leading Indiana recorded its biggest winning margin of the season by cruising past an undermanned Denver 119-80 on Monday, with David West scoring 25 points for the Pacers.
It was tighter at Detroit, where interim coach John Loyer got off to a winning start as the Pistons had a creditable win over San Antonio, while Houston extended its winning streak to six games by defeating Minnesota.
Indiana’s Roy Hibbert scored 14 points as the Pacers emphatically ended a run of five-consecutive losses to the Nuggets, stretching back to 2010.
Indiana not only has the overall best record in the league, but also has the NBA’s best home record at 25-2, and now lead two-time defending champion Miami by four games in the Eastern Conference.
Wilson Chandler scored 17 points for the Nuggets, who slipped to a third-straight losses and struggled without Andre Miller, Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee, Nate Robinson and Ty Lawson; all injured.
Detroit, which fired Maurice Cheeks on Sunday after only 50 games in charge, had an immediate reversal of fortune under his replacement John Loyer, beating San Antonio 109-100.
Brandon Jennings scored 21 points and Rodney Stuckey had 20 for the Pistons, who moved level with Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Marco Belinelli led the Spurs with 20 points.
Houston used a fourth-quarter push to hold off Minnesota and win 107-89, with Dwight Howard leading the way for the Rockets with 18 points and 15 rebounds.
Chandler Parsons had 20 points for the Rockets, who have won six straight for the first time in over two years.
Kevin Love returned after missing one game with a bruised thigh and led Minnesota with 31 points and 10 rebounds. The Timberwolves have lost four straight.
Toronto’s Kyle Lowry had 19 points and 12 assists as the Raptors beat New Orleans 108-101.
Golden State’s Marreese Speights scored a career-high 32 points to hand his former team Philadelphia a 123-80 thrashing, taking the 76ers margin of defeat in two games to an aggregate 88 points — seven off the NBA record.
Boston pulled away from Milwaukee in the fourth quarter to win 102-86, with Jeff Green scoring 29 points.