(The Sports Xchange) – Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 113-88 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Spurs (52-26) stretched their winning streak to eight and now trail the idle Houston Rockets by only a game-and-a-half for second place in the Western Conference and the lead in the Southwest Division.
The Thunder (42-36) have lost four straight games and six of their last seven. They are now two games behind the New Orleans Pelicans in the loss column for eighth in the West with only four games left in the regular season.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 17 points on 7-for-16 shooting.
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Pelicans 103, Warriors 100
Anthony Davis scored 23 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, including a running jumper in the lane and two critical free throws in the final 1:21, to power the New Orleans Pelicans to a victory over the Golden State Warriors and into the eighth playoff position in the Western Conference.
The Pelicans (42-35) moved a half-game ahead of Oklahoma City (42-36) for the final playoff spot in the West after the Thunder lost at home against San Antonio.
The Pelicans trailed the Warriors (63-15) by 12 points at halftime but rallied back. Stephen Curry led Golden State with 25 points and nine assists.
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Hawks 96, Suns 69
The Atlanta Hawks, who set a team record with 19 straight wins earlier in the season, now also own the franchise mark for victories in a season with their 58th.
DeMarre Carroll made all but one of his nine shots and the Hawks held the Phoenix Suns to 31.3 percent shooting.
The Hawks are 58-19 with five games left. The 1986-87 and 1993-94 teams won 57 games.
The loss was the sixth in seven games for the Suns, who fell to 39-39 and are out of the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
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Heat 105, Hornets 100
Goran Dragic led a balanced effort with 28 points and five assists as the Heat defeated the Charlotte Hornets in a pivotal game in the race for one of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff berths.
With Boston and Indiana idle, the Heat (35-43) moved into ninth place and within a half game of the Celtics for the final playoff spot. Miami moved a half-game ahead of the Pacers. The Heat also moved to a game-and-a-half behind idle Brooklyn for the seventh seed with four games remaining.
Hornets guard Gerald Henderson led all scorers with 29 points.
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Clippers 105, Lakers 100
Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick scored 27 points each as the Clippers completed the four-game season-series sweep of the Lakers.
The Clippers continued their quest for home court in the first round of the playoffs, moving to 53-26 to remain in fifth place in the West.
The Clippers are now tied with Memphis in the standings, but the Grizzlies hold the number three spot based on a 2-1 head-to-head record — but the teams play Saturday in Staples Center.
The Lakers sunk to 20-57, giving them the NBA’s fourth-worst record.
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Kings 116, Timberwolves 111
Rudy Gay scored 33 points, and forward Omri Casspi added a career-high 31 as the Sacramento Kings beat the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Gay, back after missing three games with concussion symptoms after being injured March 30 in Houston, was 9-for-17 shooting and also pulled seven rebounds as Sacramento snapped a five-game losing streak despite playing without center DeMarcus Cousins.
The Kings’ leading scorer and rebounder sat out with a sore right foot and was unlikely to play last night at Utah.