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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Houston Rockets bombard slumping San Antonio Spurs


San Antonio’s losing streak hit a worrying six games when the Spurs lost, 119-114, to the Houston Rockets in the NBA on Friday.

The Spurs have already clinched a playoff spot but look badly out of form approaching the postseason, losing six straight for the first time since 1996-97.

San Antonio, down 11 points late in the third quarter, forced overtime on a free throw by Tim Duncan with 18 seconds left in regulation that tied it 108-108.

Houston’s Kevin Martin took over in overtime, scoring nine of Houston’s 11 points, finishing with 33 for the game. Luis Scola had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 31 points.

In Atlanta, Al Horford capped his 35th double-double with a key tip-in with 7.9 seconds remaining to lift Atlanta over Boston, 88-83.

The Hawks’ lead was only three points when Horford tipped in a miss by Joe Johnson.

Jamal Crawford had 20 points and Johnson had 19 despite making only 4 of 20 shots from the field.

The Celtics arrived in Atlanta at 4 a.m. on Friday following Thursday night’s win at San Antonio. Boston’s players appeared to tire late in the game after taking a 60-48 lead in the third quarter.

Paul Pierce led Boston with 25 points.

In Portland, the hosts snapped Oklahoma City’s five-game winning streak with a 98-91 win.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 32 points and Nicolas Batum added 19 points for the Blazers, who have won seven straight at the Rose Garden. Portland sat in the sixth spot in the Western Conference, a game ahead of New Orleans and Memphis.

Portland led by as many as 12 points early in the fourth quarter, while Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant struggled to find his shot and Kendrick Perkins sat because of foul trouble.

The Thunder, fourth in the conference, closed to 93-88, but couldn’t catch up in the end. Durant led Oklahoma City with 25 points and 11 rebounds.

In Salt Lake City, Los Angeles erased a 17-point first-half deficit to eliminate Utah from the playoff race, 96-85.

Utah (36-40) becomes the first team in NBA history to start 15-5 or better and not make the playoffs.

Kobe Bryant scored 21 points and Lamar Odom added 16 for the Lakers, who outscored the Jazz 52-35 in the second half to win their ninth straight game, and pull within 1 1/2 games of first-place San Antonio in the Western Conference.

C.J. Miles scored 24 points for Utah, which started its 17th different lineup and had only nine healthy players, including one who just joined the team two days earlier and was playing out of position.

In New Orleans, Memphis held New Orleans to a season-low 12 points in the first quarter and went on to a comfortble 93-81 win.

Zach Randolph scored 28 points and Tony Allen added 17 for the Grizzlies, who outrebounded New Orleans 40-28 and answered every run with easy baskets, moving into a tie with the Hornets for seventh in the Western Conference.

Randolph and Marc Gasol had double-doubles, both finishing with 10 rebounds. Gasol had 13 points.

Carl Landry led New Orleans with 19 points.

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Derrick Rose scored 13 of his 27 points in the first quarter and had a key assist in the final minute to lead Chicago over pesky Detroit, 101-96.

The Eastern Conference-leading Bulls enjoyed a comfortable lead for much of the game.


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