Highlights of Wednesday's NBA games
March 8 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Wednesday's National Basketball Association games:
Spurs 114, Kings 104
Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 19 points and David Lee equaled his season-best scoring output with 18 points as the short-handed San Antonio Spurs roared from behind to beat the Sacramento Kings 114-104 on Wednesday for their ninth straight victory.
The victory assured the Spurs (50-13) their 18th consecutive 50-win season. San Antonio has now won 50 or more games every season since 1997-98 except in the strike-shortened 1998-99 campaign, when they went 37-13. The Spurs have had just one losing season (20-62 in 1996-97) in 28 years.
San Antonio never led until a Patty Mills three-pointer with 6:26 to play gave them a 95-92 advantage. Another Mills three-pointer and free throw almost three minutes later expanded the Spurs' cushion to 99-94 and the Kings had no answer in the final minutes.
Pacers 115, Pistons 98
Paul George scored 21 points, Thaddeus Young had 18 points and eight rebounds and CJ Miles added 15 points, and Indiana pulled away from Detroit.
With the victory, Indiana avoided slipping to .500 and completed a four-game season series sweep from Detroit. The Pacers were coming off a 2-3 road trip during which they lost at Miami, San Antonio and Charlotte while winning at Houston and Atlanta.
Indiana now has a two-game lead on Detroit for the No. 6 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Jazz 115, Rockets 108
Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward served as an effective scoring tandem, and Utah pulled out a crucial victory over Houston at Toyota Center.
The Jazz claimed the season series against Houston while also closing to within three games of the third seed in the Western Conference.
Gobert posted a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds while Hayward delivered several clutch jumpers en route to 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Utah, which stretched its winning streak to four games.
Timberwolves 107, Clippers 91
Karl-Anthony Towns had 29 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota, and Ricky Rubio added 15 points and 12 assists as the Timberwolves beat Los Angeles.
Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points for Minnesota, which won for the third time in four games and beat Los Angeles for the second time this season. Shabazz Muhammed added 17 points for the Timberwolves in a spot start.
DeAndre Jordan had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers. Blake Griffin added 16 points, but Chris Paul had just seven points on 3-of-9 shooting as Los Angeles shot 42.2 percent as a team. Paul had 10 assists.
Raptors 94, Pelicans 87
Jonas Valanciunas scored a team-high 25 points, including four in a 9-0 run in the final 4:46, to lead Toronto to a victory over New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center.
The Pelicans played the second half without All-Star forward Anthony Davis, who bruised his left wrist late in the second quarter and did not return after scoring seven points.
New Orleans was led by DeMarcus Cousins, who scored 25 points and had 10 rebounds.
Heat 108, Hornets 101
Dion Waiters scored 24 points and Goran Dragic added 22 points and 10 assists to lead Miami to a win over Charlotte at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Dragic recorded his fifth double-double of the season as Miami continued its hot streak, winning for the 20th time in 24 games. The Heat also have won three games in a row, including two straight over the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
Waiters made five three-pointers for the second game in a row. As a team, Miami made 17 of 41 attempts (41.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
Bucks 104, Knicks 93
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 22 of his 32 points in the second half as Milwaukee extended its winning streak to a season-high four games with a victory over New York at the Bradley Center.
Antetokounmpo filled up the stat sheet, hitting 11 of 21 shots while adding 13 rebounds, seven assists two blocks and four steals. Khris Middleton added 18, including four three-pointers, and Greg Monroe finished with 17 off the bench.
Magic 98, Bulls 91
Elfrid Payton had 22 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists in leading Orlando to a victory over Chicago at the Amway Center.
He had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Monday when the Magic blew a 14-point and lost to the New York Knicks.
The Magic snapped a two-game losing streak. The Bulls lost their third consecutive game, putting a dent in their sagging playoff hopes.
Hawks 110, Nets 105
Dennis Schroder is in good graces again, and he helped Atlanta earn a badly needed victory.
Schroder, benched in the previous game, scored 31 points and had a late steal as the Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over Brooklyn.
Schroder followed his steal by making two free throws with 15.5 seconds left to give the Hawks a four-point lead.
Wizards 123, Nuggets 113
John Wall had 30 points and 10 assists, Bradley Beal scored 23, and Washington continued its dominant road play with a win over Denver.
Otto Porter Jr. had 22 points, while Marcin Gortat had 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Wizards, who have won nine of their last 12 road games.
Gary Harris scored a career-high 26 points, Wilson Chandler had 21 points and Mason Plumlee had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the shorthanded Nuggets, whose lead over Portland for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference is now one game.
Celtics 99, Warriors 86
Jae Crowder hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions during a 15-0 fourth-quarter flurry that propelled Boston to a victory over Golden State.
Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points, hitting four three-pointers, as the Celtics snapped a two-game losing streak. Kelly Olynyk added 17 points, and Crowder finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
The Warriors lost for the third time in five games and saw their lead over San Antonio atop the Western Conference sliced to 1 1/2 games. Klay Thompson scored 25 points and Stephen Curry 23 for the Warriors, who had four turnovers and two missed shots during Boston's runaway.