Oklahoma City defeat Spurs, go top out West
Oklahoma City took over as top dog in the NBA's Western Conference by winning 111-105 at nearest rival San Antonio today, as Kevin Durant continued his remarkable scoring run.
The Thunder moved half a game ahead of the Spurs in the West, while the overall league leader Indiana suffered its heaviest defeat of the season at the hands of Phoenix.
Among other games, Charlotte ended a run of outs against the Los Angeles Clippers, and DeMar DeRozan starred in Toronto's victory against Dallas.
Durant had 36 points - he is averaging 38 over his past 11 games - with two thirds of those coming after San Antonio lost its top defensive stopper Kawhi Leonard to a hand fracture late in the first half.
Reggie Jackson had 27 points and Serge Ibaka added 14 points for the Thunder.
Tim Duncan and Boris Diaw scored 14 points each and Duncan added 13 rebounds for the Spurs.
Phoenix cruised to a surprisingly comfortable 124-100 win over Indiana, with Gerald Green scoring 23 points against his former team to lead six Suns in double figures.
Indiana, which has the NBA's best record (33-8) and is the league leader in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense, gave up the most points it has all season, losing its first game in six.
Goran Dragic scored 21 for the Suns, who moved within a game of idle Golden State in the Pacific Division.
Paul George scored 26 for the Pacers, whose lead in the East was cut to 3-1/2 games.
Charlotte ended a run of six consecutive losses to Los Angeles by beating the Clipper 95-91, with Al Jefferson having 24 points and 10 rebounds.
The veteran center was 12 of 23 from the field, while Gerald Henderson scored 13 points and put the Bobcats ahead for good with 22.5 seconds left with a dunk.
Blake Griffin was dominant early on and finished with 27 points for the Clippers, but was 0 for 4 from the field in the fourth quarter.
Toronto's DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 40 points to power the Raptors to a 93-85 comeback win over Dallas.
Greivis Vasquez had 17 for Toronto, which overcame a 21-point, first-quarter deficit.
Monta Ellis had 21 points for Dallas, but the Mavericks hurt themselves with 21 turnovers, including nine in the fourth quarter.
Dallas played without Dirk Nowitzki, who was rested as the Mavericks played for the 11th time in 18 days.
Houston's Dwight Howard and James Harden combined for 50 points in just three quarters to steer the Rockets to a 119-98 win over Sacramento.
Howard had 26 points and 13 rebounds and Harden added 24 points with nine assists before the pair went to the bench for the fourth quarter, safely knowing they had set up the Rockets' third-straight win.
The Kings struggled after losing top scorers Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins to injuries before halftime. Derrick Williams led Sacramento with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Chicago got the better of Cleveland and former star Luol Deng by beating the Cavaliers 98-87, with fill-ins DJ Augustin and Taj Gibson combining for 53 points.
Boston's Gerald Wallace made a driving layup with 2.5 seconds remaining in overtime to give the undermanned Celtics a 113-111 victory over Washington, ending a run of 10-straight road losses.
Atlanta hung on beat Orlando 112-109, with Paul Millsap leading the Hawks with 24 points.
Philadelphia won 110-106 over New York to inflict a fifth-straight loss on the Knicks, with Evan Turner scoring a career-high 34 points with 11 rebounds.
Milwaukee came from 13 points down in the third quarter to beat Detroit 104-101, with Caron Butler scoring 30 points for the Bucks, who had lost their previous nine games.