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Spurs sink Bulls, maintain hold on NBA’s best record Struggling Pacers subdue Celtics

CHICAGO, March 12, (AP): Manu Ginobili scored 22 points and Tony Parker had 20 as the league-leading San Antonio Spurs beat the Chicago Bulls 104-96 on Tuesday. Kawhi Leonard added 16 for San Antonio, which won its seventh straight and 10th in its last 11. The Spurs (47-16) maintained their hold on the NBA’s best record, staying ahead of Oklahoma City and Indiana, who both started play Tuesday a half-game behind the Spurs. San Antonio jumped out to a big lead early, taking a 61-33 advantage into halftime, including 18 from Parker. That helped them improve to 24-6 on the road, the NBA’s best mark away from home. D.J. Augustin led the Bulls with 24 points and Jimmy Butler had 23.

Pacers 94, Celtics 83

In Indianapolis, David West scored 24 points and Andrew Bynum grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds in his Pacers debut, helping suddenly struggling Indiana pull away late for a win over Boston. Indiana (47-17) ended its longest losing streak of the season at four. Paul George added 12 points as the Pacers extended their Eastern Conference lead to 1ž games over two-time defending champion Miami in the East. Boston (22-42) was led by Jared Sullinger with 17 points and Kris Humphries with 15 as its two-game winning streak ended. Bynum played just 15 minutes but his first basket gave Indiana a 16-14 lead and the Pacers never trailed again.
 
Thunder 106, Rockets 98
In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 42 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Houston Rockets. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook scored 24 points and got the best of nemesis Patrick Beverley. During last year’s playoffs, Beverley dived for the ball and ran into Westbrook’s right knee as a timeout was being called, causing the injury that ended Westbrook’s season and cost him about half of this season. It was their first meeting since the incident. Serge Ibaka had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Thunder, who had lost two straight. Former Thunder guard James Harden scored 28 points.
 
Pistons 99, Kings 89
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Josh Smith scored 24 points and Rodney Stuckey added 23 to lift the Detroit Pistons over the Sacramento Kings. Andre Drummond added 15 points and eight rebounds for Detroit, outscoring DeMarcus Cousins in a matchup of two of the NBA’s top young big men. Cousins had 13 points and 14 rebounds but shot 5 of 15 from the field. Detroit trailed 54-52 at halftime but outscored the Kings 20-11 in the third quarter.
 
Timberwolves 112, Bucks 101
In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and J.J. Barea broke out of a horrid shooting slump to score 19 points to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves over the Milwaukee Bucks.
After going 5 for 25 in his previous three games, Barea hit 7 of 10 shots to help wake the sluggish Wolves up and Kevin Martin scored 26 points to help them finish a four-game homestand at 2-2. Brandon Knight scored 21 points for the Bucks (13-51), who led at halftime and were looking for their first set of back-to-back victories this season. But after scoring 61 points in the first half and leading by 11 points in the second quarter, the Bucks were outscored 19-4 to start the fourth quarter.
 
Grizzlies 109, Trail Blazers 99
In Memphis, Tennessee, Marc Gasol scored 19 points, Zach Randolph added 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies solidified their hold on the final Western Conference playoff spot with a victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Mike Conley added 17 points and Courtney Lee finished with 16, including helping the Grizzlies extend their lead in the third quarter. Mike Miller had 14 for Memphis, which won its third straight.
 
Warriors 108, Mavericks 85
In Oakland, California, Jordan Crawford scored 19 points, and Andrew Bogut had 15 points and 10 rebounds as the surging Golden State Warriors routed the Dallas Mavericks for their fifth straight win.
Klay Thompson added 14 points to help the Warriors go ahead by 24 points early in the fourth quarter and create more space behind them in the crowded Western Conference standings. Golden State (41-24) is sixth in the West, three games ahead of Dallas (38-27) and Memphis (37-26). Former Warriors fan favorite Monta Ellis scored 15 points, and Dirk Nowitzki had 12 points and six rebounds in a disappointing display by Dallas. The Warriors outshot the Mavericks 51.2 percent to 36.6 percent and outrebounded Dallas 46 to 40, showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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