Spurs beat Celtics despite Ginobli loss
SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs overcame the early loss of Manu Ginobli to injury and still recorded a comfortable 103-88 win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday, with Tony Parker having 22 points and eight assists.
San Antonio’s victory was part of a pattern on Saturday as the five divisional leaders in action — New York, Miami, Chicago and the Los Angeles Clippers included — all won.
Gary Neal added 20 points for the Spurs, who lost Ginobli to a bruised left thigh when he ran into an opponent on a screen late in the first quarter.
Paul Pierce and Jason Terry each scored 18 points for Boston.
The Clippers notched their ninth straight win with a 111-85 defeat of the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s the franchise’s longest winning streak since they had 11 in a row as the Boston Braves in 1974-75.
Los Angeles’ Matt Barnes scored 21 points while Blake Griffin had 18 points and 11 rebounds, including three spectacular dunks in quick succession in the third quarter.
Marquis Daniels scored 16 points for the Bucks, who had won four in a row but shot just 36 percent from the field.
The Clippers remained 1 1-2 games ahead of the Golden State Warriors, who had an impressive 115-83 road win over the Atlanta Hawks, who had won 11 of their previous 13.
David Lee had 20 points and 11 rebounds — his seventh straight game passing 20 points and 10 rebounds — while Stephen Curry collected 18 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for Golden State.
The victory capped a 6-1 tour against Eastern Conference teams; the team’s first winning road trip of at least six games since 1970-71.
Al Horford’s 17 points led Atlanta, which was overrun in the second quarter after holding the early lead.
The Memphis Grizzlies stayed within two games of San Antonio and ended a three-game skid by beating the Utah Jazz 99-86.
Zach Randolph had 25 points and 16 rebounds while Marc Gasol added 16 for the Grizzlies, who outscored Utah 28-10 in the third quarter to turn a 10-point halftime deficit into a 72-64 lead entering the fourth.
Al Jefferson had 21 points for the Jazz, who shot just 15 percent (3 of 20) in the third quarter after shooting 56.4 percent at halftime.
The Chicago Bulls kept their noses in front in the Central Division with an 83-82 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Joakim Noah had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and helped force a key turnover as the Bulls rallied for the win. Noah and Luol Deng trapped Joe Johnson late in the game, resulting in one of Brooklyn’s 18 turnovers. Deng turned the mistake into a basket that tied it at 79-79.
Brooklyn’s Deron Williams missed a jumper that would have tied it in the final seconds, giving Chicago its fifth win in six games.
Marco Belinelli led Chicago with 19 points and made two free throws to cap an 8-0 run in the closing minutes.
Brook Lopez had 18 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes for the Nets.
While Brooklyn suffered a one-point defeat, their city rivals the New York Knicks had a one-point win, edging the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-102.
Raymond Felton scored 25 points and Tyson Chandler had 23 for the Knicks, who only snuck home against struggling opponent in the absence of the injured Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks improved the NBA’s only unbeaten home record to 10-0 when Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao missed the second of two free throws with one second left. It’s the best home start for New York since the 1991-92 team won its first 11.
Kyrie Irving scored 41 points for the Cavaliers, who had no problems wearing a protective mask after breaking a facial bone on a hard fall Friday night against Milwaukee.
The Minnesota Timberwolves welcomed back Ricky Rubio for his first game since a serious knee injury in March, and celebrated with a 114-106 overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Rubio had nine assists and eight points in 18 minutes but sat out overtime as he limits playing time to ease back from the long absence.
Andrei Kirilenko scored five of his 14 points in overtime while Nikola Pekovic scored 21 points for the Timberwolves, who won their fourth straight game despite playing without All-Star Kevin Love because of an illness.
O.J. Mayo had 20 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Mavericks, who led by 13 early.
The Indiana Pacers stayed within a point of the Central Division lead with an 88-77 win over the Detroit Pistons, with David West scoring 23 points.
The Miami Heat predictably routed the lowly Washington Wizards, with LeBron James notching 23 points and 10 rebounds in the 102-72 win.
The Orlando Magic won 107-98 over Charlotte, handing the Bobcats their 11th straight loss.