OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points, and the San Antonio Spurs rallied from 21 points down in the third quarter to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-95 on Friday night.
The Spurs never led until the final minute. LaMarcus Aldridge's dunk with 20.7 seconds left put the Spurs up 96-95. Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook drove to the hoop, but Aldridge blocked his shot. Leonard then drove the length of the floor, scored and was fouled. His free throw with 5.8 seconds left put the game out of reach.
Westbrook had 32 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists for his 39th triple-double of the season. He needs two more to tie Oscar Robertson's single-season record of 41 set during the 1961-62 season.
Pau Gasol scored 17 points for San Antonio, which was coming off a 110-98 home loss to Golden State on Wednesday in which the Spurs blew a 22-point lead (see full story).
Hornets get hot from deep to beat the Nuggets 122-114
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kemba Walker had 31 points, and the Marco Belinelli and Frank Kaminsky took over in the fourth quarter as the Charlotte Hornets preserved their slim playoff hopes with a 122-114 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.
The Hornets shot 17 for 26 on 3-pointers, including 7 for 12 in the fourth quarter. Charlotte made 16 3s in a win earlier this season over the Nuggets.
Complete coverage of the Philadelphia 76ers and their rivals in the NBA from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Charlotte trailed by eight entering the fourth, but scored 12 straight points to take control. Walker ignited the run with a long 3-pointer and then scored on a drive and drew a foul. Kaminsky, who had 22 points, and Belinelli each had three 3s in the fourth quarter as Charlotte outscored Denver 36-20 to essentially save its season.
In the meantime the Hornets dealt a severe blow to Denver's playoff chances. Both teams entered the game on the outside of the postseason bubble. Charlotte was 2 1/2 games out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, while the Nuggets were 1 1/2 out of the eighth spot in the West (see full story).
Isaiah Thomas' 35 lifts the Celtics over the Magic; maintains No. 1 seed in the East
BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas scored 35 points, Jae Crowder had 18 and the Boston Celtics rallied to beat the Orlando Magic 117-116 on Friday night to maintain their slim lead over Cleveland atop the Eastern Conference.
Boston's Al Horford made two free throws with 1:22 left for a one-point lead, and then Orlando missed three shots down the stretch, including a driving layup attempt by Elfrid Payton with two seconds left.
The Celtics (49-27) entered with a half-game lead over the Cavaliers, who won easily against Philadelphia to preserve that margin.
Horford and Jaylen Brown each scored 12 points, and Boston won for the fifth time in six games (see full story).
DeRozan pours in 40 to help defeat the Pacers, 111-100
TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan scored 40 points and the Toronto Raptors rolled to their seventh straight home win over the Indiana Pacers with a 111-100 victory Friday night.
DeRozan was 11 of 26 from the floor to register his 30th game of 30 points or more this season, tying Vince Carter's 2000-01 franchise mark. It was also DeRozan's sixth 40-point game of the season.
Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 17 rebounds for his team-leading 28th double-double, while Serge Ibaka added 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Paul George led the Pacers with 28 points, while Jeff Teague added 19, but they were unable to prevent Indiana, currently holding the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, from its fifth loss in its last six games (see full story).