NBA Recap – San Antonio Spurs Pad Lead; Houston Drop Celtics
UNDATED (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs needed a second-half rally to earn their fifth straight win and stretch their lead in the NBA's Western Conference to 1 1/2 games over Oklahoma City and Portland.
Tony Parker hit three big layups over the final 6:11 and finished with a game-high 27 points as the Spurs downed the Pelicans 101-95 in New Orleans. Tim Duncan added 18 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with 6:02 remaining and San Antonio ahead by just two points.
The Pelicans have dropped six straight since leading scorer Ryan Anderson suffered a neck injury that could require surgery.
In other NBA action:
— Houston was a 104-92 winner at Boston behind Dwight Howard's 32 points and 11 rebounds. James Harden and Jeremy Lin each had 16 points as the Rockets moved into a tie for fifth with Golden State in the West.
— Monta Ellis scored 21 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 15 as Dallas handed Orlando its eighth straight loss, 107-88. The Mavericks are seven games over .500 for the first time since the end of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season.
— Toronto made it eight wins in nine games as Kyle Lowry scored 23 points and DeMar DeRosan added 19 in a 116-94 romp over Milwaukee. Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 10 rebounds to help the Raptors deal the Bucks their sixth straight loss.
— John Wall and Nene each scored 19 points and Washington shot 52 percent in a 102-88 victory in Chicago, ending the Bulls' five-game winning streak. Trevor Ariza (ah-REE'-zah) hit three of the Wizards' seven three-pointers and finished with 16 points and nine boards.
— New York has a five-game winning streak after Carmelo Anthony provided 29 points and 16 rebounds in a 98-96 overtime win against Phoenix. Raymond Felton added 19 points for the Knicks, who blew a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter and were forced into OT after Leandro Barbosa hit two free throws with 1.2 seconds left in regulation.
— Utah was a 118-103 winner over Denver behind a career-high 34 points from Alec Burks. Derrick Favors added 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Jazz, who led by as many as 24 before ending the Nuggets' five-game winning streak.
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