Kurt Helin

SAN ANTONIO,TX - MARCH 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs scores two over the Oklahoma City Thunder at AT&T Center on March 12, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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Spurs top Thunder for 41st in a row at home, 3rd longest streak ever

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 93-85 on Saturday night for their 41st straight home victory, the third-longest streak in NBA history.

The Spurs avenged a season-opening loss to the Thunder and made it 32 straight wins to open this season at home, where they haven’t lost in the regular season since last March.

Only Golden State, which had won 47 in a row entering Saturday, and the Chicago teams that won 44 straight in 1995-96 had longer streaks.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points and Tim Duncan had 11 for San Antonio, which extended its lead over Oklahoma City (44-22) to 12 games for the second seed in the Western Conference.

Kevin Durant had 28 points for the Thunder.

The Spurs (56-10) rallied to extend their franchise best start, trailing entering the fourth quarter for just the fourth time in 32 home games this season. Leonard scored nine in the final period.

David West ignited the rally, scoring six straight points to tie the game at 72 with 9 minutes remaining. The veteran forward shouted encouragement to the team after his second basket and closed the run by rushing in to tip in his own missed short jumper.

West finished with eight points.

Data curated by PointAfter

Leonard continued the momentum, going 4 for 7 in the fourth quarter. He faked a pass that Russell Westbrook didn’t react to, so the Spurs forward rose and drained an 18-foot jumper on the Oklahoma City point guard. Following a 3-pointer by Danny Green, Leonard crossed over Andre Roberson at the 3-point line and drained a 3 that gave San Antonio an 82-76 lead with 6:30 remaining.

The Thunder had a 15-5 run in the second quarter and handed San Antonio just its fourth halftime deficit of the season at home.

Westbrook finished with 19 points on 5-for-16 shooting.

TIP-INS

Thunder: Oklahoma City is 53-22 since the start of the 2013-14 season with Durant, Westbrook, Roberson, Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka starting. . The Thunder beat the Spurs in the season opener for both teams, closing the game on a 22-9 run to win 112-106 in Oklahoma City.

Spurs: San Antonio set a league record by winning its 51st straight game when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponent, breaking a tie with the 1999-00 Los Angeles Lakers. . Leonard or Aldridge has led the Spurs in scoring the past nine games, with the Spurs All-Star frontcourt sharing the honors once over that span. . San Antonio has led at the half in 27 home games this season, trailing just four times and tied once.

 

Warriors, Trail Blazers combine for record 37 made threes (VIDEO)

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Klay Thompson had eight. Stephen Curry seven. Damian Lillard four.

But it wasn’t just the stars, it seemed everyone from Golden State and Portland were hitting threes — the teams combined for a record 37 made threes during the Warriors 128-112 win Friday night in the Bay Area.

They did it efficiently — the teams combined to shoot 37-of-76, which is 48.7 percent.

The game itself was never in doubt. Golden State pulled away with a 17-5 run midway through the first quarter and never looked back, leading by as many as 32 at one point. Curry played all of 1:23 in the fourth.

Ex-Clippers owners Sterlings decide to call off divorce

Shelly Sterling, Donald Sterling
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his wife, Shelly Sterling, have decided to remain in their six-decade marriage.

The Sterlings are opting out of the divorce that Donald Sterling filed for in August just two weeks before their 60th anniversary, according to a filing this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The move is the latest twist in the long, strange saga of the Sterlings, who ended up selling the Clippers for $2 billion to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in the aftermath of racist comments Donald Sterling made on a recording to a friend that saw him banned from the NBA.

Donald Sterling, 81, cited irreconcilable differences in his divorce filings last year and said the couple had been separated since 2012.

“Notwithstanding all the difficult events of the last two years, the Sterlings have resolved their differences,” Donald Sterling’s attorney, Bobby Samini, wrote in an email Friday to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported on the couple’s reconciliation.

Pierce O’Donnell, Shelly Sterling’s attorney, did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

In 2014, a recording of Donald Sterling telling friend V. Stiviano not to associate with black people led the NBA to ban him for life and fine him $2.5 million. The recording was leaked weeks after Shelly Sterling sued Stiviano, alleging she was her husband’s mistress.

Donald Sterling gave caustic, combative testimony during a 2014 trial over the team’s sale, saying Shelly Sterling duped him. He called her a “pig” when she tried to approach him after her testimony.

Yet the couple testified at trial last year about their enduring love for each other, displaying cards they gave each other for anniversaries and birthdays.

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson combine for 15 3-pointers in rout of Blazers

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 34 points, Klay Thompson had 37 and the Golden State Warriors avenged their worst defeat of the season by beating the Portland Trail Blazers 128-112 on Friday night, extending their record regular-season home winning streak to 47 games.

The Splash Brothers combined to shoot 15 for 25 on 3-pointers and went 26 for 45 overall, with Thompson joining Curry as the only players with 200 3s in four straight seasons. They scored 30 or more points in the same game for the sixth time in their careers.

Draymond Green added 17 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists while making all nine of his free throws.

CJ McCollum scored 18 points and Portland topped the defending champions with 19 3s to Golden State’s 18 as the teams combined for the most 3s in NBA history – on 37-for-76 shooting.

From the tip, the defending champion Warriors were out to bury the Blazers after an embarrassing 32-point defeat in Portland last month coming out of the All-Star break. Golden State lost 137-105 at Portland on Feb. 19 – its largest margin of defeat since a 39-point setback to Denver in 2012 – before an impressive seven-game winning streak.

Curry scored 18 of his points in the opening period after going scoreless in the first two nights earlier against Utah, helping the Warriors improve to 29-0 at Oracle Arena this season.

On Monday, Curry became the first player in NBA history with 300 3s in a season and his seven against the Trail Blazers pushed his total to 311.

Damian Lillard returned to his Oakland roots to score 17 points on 5-of-19 shooting after missing 15 of his first 17 shots. Lillard made four 3-pointers and has the most 3s of any player in his first four seasons, topping Thompson’s 784.

Playing in his hometown, it was a far cry from how he lit up the Warriors for a career-high 51 points in that February rout.

Lillard had 91 points in the first two games against Golden State this season, including a career-high 51 in the rout of the Warriors last month.

He was averaging 45.5 points on 54.5-percent shooting and 8.5 assists in the first two meetings and missed scoring 20 or more points in a fifth consecutive game against Golden State.

The first half was a quite an offensive display by both teams. Portland scored 61 points and still trailed by 20 at intermission.

Andre Iguodala hit two quick 3-pointers midway through the second quarter as the Warriors connected on 10 of their first 16 3-pointers and 14 of 25 by halftime.

STEPH COMPARISONS

Lillard was so good against Golden State the last time it prompted Steve Kerr to say, “He looked like Steph Curry out there.”

“Honestly, I really appreciate it,” Lillard said before the game. “I forget who I said it to earlier this week, I loved Steve Kerr growing up with Bulls and with the Spurs. My second All-Star game in New York, he was the coach. I really appreciated his speech to the team before the game, how he took the time to learn about each player.”

Kerr recalled Lillard hitting “like five shots from about 40 feet.”

“He was pulling up from so deep behind the line. I was being complimentary,” Kerr said. “When Steph makes 40-footers and then somebody else does that, it reminded me of Steph.”

Not this time.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Portland is 5-18 on Golden State’s home floor since the beginning of the 2003-04 season. … The Blazers still must come back to Oracle Arena on April 3.

Warriors: X-rays on Iguodala’s sprained left ankle were negative. He is questionable for Saturday’s game. … Curry has scored 20 or more points in 10 straight games against the Blazers. … Golden State beat Portland at home for the third straight meeting.

 

James Harden’s 32 help Rockets end Celtics’ home streak 102-98

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BOSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 32 points, including Houston’s final eight, and the Rockets snapped the Boston Celtics’ 14-game home winning streak with a 102-98 victory on Friday night.

Michael Beasley added 18 points and eight rebounds, and Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for Houston, which has won three straight – all on the road.

The Rockets led by as many as 11 in the third quarter, before seeing that cushion cut to two points in the fourth.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 30 points, but had six turnovers. Jared Sullinger added 24 points and 12 rebounds.

Boston struggled from the field all night, shooting just 37 percent and committing 15 turnovers. The Celtics were also outscored 60-46 in the paint in their first home loss since Jan. 6.

Boston coach Brad Stevens made an adjustment late in the third quarter, inserting rookie Terry Rozier into the lineup. Rozier started the fourth quarter and was active, knocking down an early 3-pointer handing out a trio of assists before heading to the bench with about four minutes to play.

It helped lessen the damage done by Beasley, who scored 10 of Houston’s first 12 points of the quarter.

The Rockets continued to be aggressive, and a free throw by Harden gave the Rockets a 97-91 lead with 2:33 remaining.

It stayed that way when a missed step-back jumper by Harden led to an inadvertent whistle during a scramble for the rebound at the 1:11 mark.

An ensuing jumpball between Howard and Sullinger was controlled by Houston, and Harden knocked down a 19-footer with less than a minute left that got the lead back to eight.

Both teams were flat offensively in the early going. But Houston cobbled together a 13-4 run late in the first half and led by three at the break.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Have scored 100 or more points in 45 of the 54 games under interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

Celtics: Are 6-21 when trailing entering the fourth quarter.