Article

Spurs surge past Suns, Heat extend winning run

25 February 2013 06:31

The San Antonio Spurs maintained their healthy cushion atop the Western Conference with a 97-87 win over the Suns in Phoenix on Sunday.

The Spurs, who boast the NBA's best record (45-13), got off to a slow start at the US Airways Center but a dominant 35-19 second quarter ultimately proved decisive.

San Antonio extended their lead to 17 (78-61) at the final change and there was no coming back for the Suns from there as the Spurs triumphed without injured playmaker Tony Parker (triceps).

Kahwi Leonard (16 points, nine rebounds) and bench player Patty Mills (16) starred for the Spurs who had a total of six players post double-digit scores.

For Phoenix, centre Marcin Gortat was the most influential player on the court with 21 points and 12 rebounds and he was assisted by Luis Scola (15) and Goran Dragic, who also registered a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists.

In Miami, the Heat secured their 11th consecutive win but the Eastern Conference leaders and defending champions were made to earn it by strugglers Cleveland.

The hosts appeared to be cruising at half-time when they opened up an 18-point lead (64-46), but the visiting Cavaliers gave the competition heavyweights an almighty scare in the third term as they amazingly wiped out their deficit to head into the final quarter with a one-point advantage (82-81).

However, star guard Dwyane Wade intervened in the fourth period to hit 15 of his 24 points and help secure a 109-105 win for Miami.

LeBron James was also outstanding for the Heat, scoring a game-high 28 points and dishing off eight assists while Mario Chalmers chimed in with 16 points.

Dion Waiters (26) top-scored for Cleveland, CJ Miles drained 19 points from just 21 minutes of play for the visitors and star youngster Kyrie Irving (17) also contributed.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City completely overwhelmed Chicago to record a rampant 102-72 victory.

The Thunder didn't give the Bulls a look in as they romped home on the back of Kevin Durant (19 points, 16 rebounds), Serge Ibaka (17, 10) and Russell Westbrook (23).

Luol Deng (13) and Nate Robinson (13) were the only Bulls to score 10 points or more.

In other results, Memphis beat Brooklyn 76-72, New York defeated Philadelphia 99-93 and the Los Angeles Lakers edged Dallas 103-99.

Elsewhere, Golden State pipped Minnesota 100-99, Portland downed Boston 92-86 and New Orleans were too strong for Sacramento 110-95.

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