Warriors Finish Strongly to Beat Clippers
The Golden State Warriors came from seven points down in the closing minutes to beat the NBA-leading Los Angeles Clippers 106-99 on Sunday, closing the gap between the Pacific Division's top teams to six games.
In other key games, Indiana stayed clear top of the Central Division by pipping Memphis, Brooklyn beat New York to move within a game of their city rivals in the Atlantic Division, and San Antonio was too good for slumping Philadelphia.
Golden State's Jarrett Jack had 18 points and 10 assists while Stephen Curry made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to finish on 28 as the Warriors beat the Clippers for the third time in four meetings this season, dropping L.A. out of a share of the NBA lead.
There were five lead changes in the fourth quarter, but Los Angeles managed only two baskets over the final 3:40 while Golden State closed on a 14-4 run. Blake Griffin had 26 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers.
The Indiana Pacers stayed a game ahead of Chicago atop the Central by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 82-81. George Hill scored 13 points, including a clinching free throw with 1.4 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing inbounds, Memphis' Rudy Gay banked in a 24-foot shot, but after a review it was determined the shot came after the buzzer.
David West scored 14 points for the Pacers, while Roy Hibbert scored 10 for Indiana.
The Brooklyn Nets' win over the New York Knicks was almost as close, with Joe Johnson's jump shot with 22 seconds remaining putting Brooklyn ahead and the Nets hung on for an 88-85 win.
Johnson scored a vital 10 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 25, and Deron Williams added 14 points and 12 assists for the Nets.
Carmelo Anthony had 29 points and seven assists for the Knicks, but missed all six shots in the fourth quarter and finished 11 of 29 for the game.
The San Antonio Spurs moved five games above Memphis in the Southwest Division — and within four of NBA-leading Oklahoma City — by beating the Philadelphia 76ers 90-85.
Tim Duncan had 24 points and 17 rebounds and Tony Parker scored 20 points to lead San Antonio to its fifth straight win.
The Spurs blew a 17-point lead in the first half before rallying late in the fourth to win again without injured guard Manu Ginobili. San Antonio has won a league-best 15 road games this season.
Evan Turner's 18 points and 12 rebounds led the Sixers, who have slumped to seven games below .500.
The Chicago Bulls pulled away late to beat the struggling Los Angeles Lakers 95-83, scoring 20 of the last 28 points.
Kirk Hinrich scored 22 points and Marco Belinelli added 15 points. Belinelli was vital in the closing minutes, scoring eight points during the decisive late run.
The Lakers have now dropped six straight on the road, and this one came after coach Mike D'Antoni shook up the lineup. He moved forward Pau Gasol to a reserve role and replaced him with Earl Clark, but the slide continued.
The Atlanta Hawks came from 18 points down in the second quarter to beat Minnesota 104-96, sending the Timberwolves to a sixth loss in seven games.
Al Horford scored a season-high 28 points and Jannero Pargo had 16 for the Hawks, who moved within 4-1/2 games of Southeast Division-leading Miami.
Derrick Williams finished with 17 points for Minnesota.
In other games, the Houston Rockets snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 100-94 win at the Charlotte Bobcats, the New Orleans Hornets survived a second half without Anthony Davis and beat the Sacramento Kings 114-105 and Washington's Jordan Crawford hit a 3-pointer on the buzzer to give the Wizards a 98-95 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.