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Spurs crush ailing Cavaliers

Other Sports
Tue, 28 Mar 2017
AP


San Antonio: Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points to help the San Antonio Spurs dismantle the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes. Kyle Korver (foot) and Iman Shumpert (knee) sat out with injuries for Cleveland.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

THUNDER 92, MAVERICKS 91

Dallas: Russell Westbrook hit a pull-up jumper with seven seconds left as Oklahoma City erased a 13-point deficit in the final four minutes to beat Dallas.

Westbrook scored 37 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, with 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his third straight triple-double and 37th of the season.

The Thunder finished on a 14-0 run, capped when they gained possession on a replay reversal with 13 seconds to go. Westbrook then hit the decisive shot from just beyond the free throw line over Wesley Matthews.

Westbrook scored 12 of the final 14 points.

Harrison Barnes missed a long 3-pointer just before the buzzer, clinching the first losing season for the Mavericks (31-42) since 1999-2000, the season that owner Mark Cuban bought the team with Dirk Nowitzki, who's still with the team, in his second year.

The Thunder (42-31) won for the seventh time in nine games since a four-game losing streak that matched a season high.

KNICKS 109, PISTONS 95

New York: Derrick Rose scored 27 points and Kristaps Porzingis had 25 as New York handed Detroit another damaging defeat.

Carmelo Anthony added 21 points for the Knicks after missing two games with a sore left knee. New York snapped a five-game losing streak and avoided playoff elimination.

Marcus Morris scored 20 points but the Pistons dropped their fourth straight and fell 1½ games behind Miami for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Ish Smith had 15 points while former starting point guard Reggie Jackson didn't play.

Andre Drummond had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Pistons, who have lost seven of eight.

RAPTORS 131, MAGIC 112

Toronto: DeMar DeRozan scored 36 points and Cory Joseph had 15 points and 13 assists as Toronto defeated Orlando for its sixth straight victory.

DeRozan, selected the Eastern Conference player of the week earlier in the day, scored 18 in the first quarter. Joseph added six rebounds and Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors (45-29).

Elfrid Payton had 22 points and nine assists for Orlando (27-47). Evan Fournier added 20 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and 15 rebounds.

It was the first game between the teams since the Raptors traded Terrence Ross to the Magic for Serge Ibaka in February. Ross finished with 17 points, while Ibaka had 16 points and seven rebounds.

KINGS 91, GRIZZLIES 90

Sacramento: Darren Collison scored 23 points and made two crucial free throws in the closing seconds to help Sacramento hand slumping Memphis its fourth consecutive loss.

The victory was the second straight for the Kings, both over playoff-bound teams. Sacramento rallied from an 18-point deficit in the final five minutes to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

Mike Conley had 22 points and nine assists for the Grizzlies, and Zach Randolph added 17 points and 15 rebounds. Memphis has lost nine of 13 and sits in seventh place in the Western Conference.

Randolph hit two free throws with 32.9 seconds left, giving the Grizzlies a 90-89 lead. But then Collison made both free throws to put the Kings up by one with 5.7 seconds left. Randolph missed an open 3-pointer with a second left that would have won it for Memphis.

The Grizzlies played without leading rebounder and second-leading scorer Marc Gasol, who missed his second consecutive game with a strained left foot.

Buddy Hield had 14 points for the Kings, and Willie Cauley-Stein contributed 12 points and nine rebounds.

JAZZ 108, PELICANS 100

Salt Lake City: Rudy Gobert had 20 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks to lead Utah over New Orleans.

Rodney Hood scored 20 points, Joe Ingles added 19 and George Hill chipped in with 17 as that Jazz trio combined to make a dozen 3-pointers. Utah (45-29) swept the season series 3-0 after dominating from the perimeter for four quarters.

Anthony Davis had 36 points and 17 rebounds for New Orleans, which played its second consecutive game without injured centre DeMarcus Cousins (sprained ankle). Jrue Holiday scored 19, but the Pelicans (31-43) lost for only the third time in nine games.