NBA Roundup: Curry’s 32 lead Warriors over Rockets, 113-106

HOUSTON (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 32 points, Klay Thompson had 25 and the Golden State Warriors built a big lead early and held on for a 113-106 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

The Warriors scored 37 points in the first quarter and never trailed on the way to their eighth straight victory and 60th this season.

Golden State led by eight after a pair of free throws by Curry with just over three minutes left. Patrick Beverley countered with a tip-in layup for Houston, then was fouled when he was knocked to the ground on a screen by Draymond Green seconds later.

James Harden missed a layup on the next possession before Green added a shot on the other end to put the Warriors up 107-99.

Another layup miss by Harden followed, and Curry made a 3-pointer with 1:46 left to send fans streaming to the exits.

Heat 97, Pistons 96

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Hassan Whiteside tipped in a shot with his left hand as time expired to lift Miami over Detroit.

Whiteside, playing with a thick bandage on his right hand to protect 13 stitches he got a week ago, tipped in Goran Dragic’s miss after a wild final play over the game’s final 11.3 seconds. James Johnson took the initial shot for Miami, Dragic muscled the rebound off the rim and Whiteside elevated over Andre Drummond for the winning tip.

The win was huge for Miami (36-38), which moved one game ahead of No. 9 Chicago and 2 1/2 games ahead of No. 10 Detroit for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Dragic scored 28 points and Whiteside finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for the Heat.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 25 points and Tobias Harris and Ish Smith each scored 19 for the Pistons (34-41).

Wizards 118, Lakers 108

LOS ANGELES — John Wall scored 34 points and Washington rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Los Angeles, clinching the Southeast Division title for its first division crown in 38 years.

Wall shot 14 of 25 and Bradley Beal was held to 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting, but the Wizards ended the longest division-title drought in NBA history with their fourth straight victory.

“I didn’t know that,” coach Scott Brooks said before the game. “Now we’re fighting for playoff positioning.”

When the franchise last claimed a division title in 1978-79, it was known as the Bullets of the Atlantic Division and played in suburban Landover, Maryland.

The team had won its lone NBA championship the previous season and went on to lose the 1979 Finals to the Seattle SuperSonics.

D’Angelo Russell led Los Angeles with 28 points and Jordan Clarkson added 22 points.

Hawks 95, Suns 91

ATLANTA — Dennis Schroder hit consecutive 3-pointers to spark a 17-1 run for a victory that snapped Atlanta’s a seven-game losing streak and boosting its playoff hopes.

Playing again without All-Star forward Paul Millsap and two other key players, the Hawks raced to an 18-point lead in the first quarter.

But Atlanta sleepwalked through the next two periods and went nearly 4 1/2 minutes in the fourth without scoring.

The Suns, without Devin Booker, took advantage of the Hawks’ shooting woes, finally taking their first lead on Alan Williams’ lay-in with 10:37 remaining and stretching the margin to 78-71.

But Schroder swished back-to-back shots beyond the arc, and the Hawks pulled away from there. He finished with 27 points.

76ers 106, Nets 101

NEW YORK — Dario Saric scored 23 points, Robert Covington had 21 points and 13 rebounds and undermanned Philadelphia beat Brooklyn.

Rookie guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had 17 points and nine boards for the 76ers, who dressed only nine players.

Philadelphia was without center Jahlil Okafor, who missed his third straight game due to right knee soreness, and veteran guard Gerald Henderson, who did not play because of soreness in his left hip.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Jeremy Lin and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson each chipped in 11 points.

Trail Blazers 122, Nuggets 113

PORTLAND, Ore. — Jusuf Nurkic had a career-high 33 points with 16 rebounds against his former team, CJ McCollum had 39 points and Portland beat Denver to take hold of the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

Portland leads Denver by a game for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Blazers also clinched the season-series tiebreaker with the Nuggets, giving them an upper hand with eight games to play.

Jameer Nelson led Denver with 23 points.

The Blazers got Nurkic involved early against his former team. On Portland’s first possession, Nurkic scored on a post-up play against Nikola Jokic, who took Nurkic’s starting spot in Denver.

Bucks 118, Hornets 108

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Snell scored a season-high 26 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 20 points and eight rebounds and Milwaukee handed Charlotte’s playoff hopes a potentially devastating blow.

Malcolm Brogdon had 14 points and 10 assists for his second double-double of the season, and the Bucks won for the 12th time in 15 games.

Charlotte (33-41) entered in 11th place in the Eastern Conference but only two games behind the Miami Heat and in dire need of a win with only nine games remaining.

Timberwolves 115, Pacers 114

INDIANAPOLIS — Ricky Rubio made three free throws with 3.4 seconds left to give Minnesota a victory over Indiana.

Minnesota snapped a season-high six-game losing streak by taking its only lead of the quarter. Rubio had 21 points and 10 assists, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 37 points and 12 rebounds.

Rubio was fouled by Jeff Teague, though it appeared Rubio ran into his own teammate on the play. Indiana fans booed the officials as they left the court.

Indiana’s Monta Ellis got off a last-second 3-point shot, but he was off the mark.

Paul George scored 37 points to lead the Pacers, whose playoff chances took another hit. Teague had 20 points and 10 assists.

By Paul Wager

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