Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points, Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell posted double-doubles, and the visiting Los Angeles Clippers drubbed the Houston Rockets 120-105 on Thursday night.
The Clippers extended their winning streak to six consecutive games and, perhaps of greater significance, squared the season series with Houston at two games apiece. The Clippers own the superior record within the Western Conference should the teams finish tied in the standings.
Leonard added six rebounds, five assists and two steals in just 28 minutes while Zubac (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Harrell (19 points, 10 rebounds) punished the smaller Rockets inside. Paul George (13 points) and Marcus Morris Sr. (11 points) added to the Clippers onslaught.
Russell Westbrook paired 29 points with 15 rebounds while James Harden scored 16 points on 4-for-17 shooting for Houston.
Toronto Raptors 121 – Golden State Warriors 113
Norman Powell stole the spotlight in Stephen Curry’s long-awaited return with a career-high 37 points, and Pascal Siakam hit a key hoop with 45.7 seconds remaining, helping Toronto outlast Golden State in a rematch of last June’s NBA Finals.
Curry had a team-high-tying 23 points in 27 minutes in his first action since breaking his left hand in the Warriors’ fourth game of the season in October. He missed 58 games.
Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, two key contributors when the Raptors ended Golden State’s bid for a three-peat with a 4-2 win in the Finals, each recorded a double-double, lifting the Raptors to a second straight win after three consecutive losses.
Denver Nuggets 114 – Charlotte Hornets 112
Jamal Murray’s short jumper with 6 seconds remaining gave Denver a victory over host Charlotte in a dizzying finish.
Murray finished with a team-high 18 points as seven Denver players scored in double figures.
Charlotte’s Terry Rozier missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer. From the four-minute mark to the two-minute mark, there were seven lead changes and a tie.
Philadelphia 76ers 125 – Sacramento Kings 108
Tobias Harris scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and Shake Milton added 20 points as short-handed Philadelphia slowed down red-hot Sacramento.
De’Aaron Fox scored 23 points and Buddy Hield added 22 for the Kings, who saw their three-game overall winning streak come to an end as well as their six-game home winning streak.
Al Horford had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Sixers, who led by as many as 19 in the third quarter only to see the Kings cut the deficit to six with less than three minutes remaining in the period. However, a quick 12-2 run built the Sixers’ lead back to 96-80 at the end of the third.
-Field Level Media