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Spurs, Rockets Victorious on the Road

Aldridge’s 48 lead Spurs past Celtics 115-96

By KYLE HIGHTOWER

BOSTON (AP) _ LaMarcus Aldridge had 48 points and 13 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs ran past Boston 115-96 on Sunday, giving the short-handed Celtics their fourth straight loss.

The Spurs have won 10 of 12 to strengthen their grip on a Western Conference playoff spot. San Antonio (43-31) is eighth in the conference, a half-game behind Oklahoma City and Utah.

Aldridge had his second-highest scoring output of the season. He scored 56 points on Jan. 10 against the Thunder.

Marcus Smart led the Celtics with 14 points. Kyrie Irving had 11 points and 12 assists, but was just 5 of 17 from the field. Irving left the game briefly and went to the locker room in the first quarter with an injury to his left hand, but returned and played the rest of the way with tape on his left ring finger.

San Antonio led by 16 less than two minutes into the fourth, and the lead grew as high as 25 in the final period.

The Spurs allowed 61 points to Houston’s James Harden in a loss Saturday night, the most points scored against San Antonio during Gregg Popovich’s tenure as coach.

Popovich’s team seemed unfazed by the setback.

Aldridge connected on eight of his first 12 shots. He had 20 points less than 10 minutes in and finished the half with 25 to help San Antonio take a 54-47 lead.

Boston’s defense had little for Aldridge, who finished 20 of 31 from the field in 37 minutes. He was pulled with 1:35 remaining after picking up his fifth foul.

The Celtics got Gordon Hayward back from a concussion and Aron Baynes returned after missing a game with a left ankle sprain.

Jayson Tatum (back contusion), Al Horford (left knee soreness) and Robert Williams III (back soreness) all remained sidelined for a team that trails fourth-place Indiana by two games in the East standings.

TIP-INS

Spurs: It was Aldridge’s seventh career 40-point game. … He has 27 double-doubles on the season. … Had 32 assists and just eight turnovers.

Celtics: Smart’s 14 points was the fewest points for a Boston leading scorer in a game this season. … Connected on just 40 percent of their field goal
attempts (38 of 94). … Irving’s 18 games of 10-plus assists are the most by a Celtics player since Rajon Rondo had 27 such games in 2012-13. … Signed C Greg Monroe to a 10-day contract.

UP NEXT

Spurs: At Charlotte Tuesday.

Celtics: At Cleveland Tuesday.

 

Harden scores 28, Rockets beat Pelicans 113-90

By BRETT MARTEL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ James Harden scored 28 points in a little less than 29 minutes, and the Houston Rockets downed the New Orleans Pelicans 113-90 on Sunday night.

Chris Paul had 10 points and 13 assists, and Eric Gordon added 18 points for the Rockets, who hit 21 3s in winning for the fifth time in six games to move a game ahead of Portland for the third seed in the Western Conference.

Anthony Davis had 12 points and 10 rebounds in just less than 21 minutes for the short-handed Pelicans, who lost for the eighth time in nine games. Frank Jackson scored 19 and Julius Randle 15 for New Orleans, which fell behind by double digits early and struggled throughout to keep pace with a contending Rockets squad trying to sharpen up for the postseason.

Houston connected on seven 3s in the first quarter alone and the Rockets’ lead surpassed 20 points when a driving layup by former New Orleans first-round draft pick Austin Rivers made it 43-22 less than three minutes into the second quarter.

New Orleans trimmed its deficit back to 16 late in the period, only to watch Harden hit his fifth 3 and score his 21st point seconds before halftime, giving the Rockets a 63-44 lead.

The Pelicans briefly got as close as 14 points on Randle’s layup early in the third quarter, but Gordon came back with a 3 and Harden added a driving floater and another 3 during an 8-0 run that pushed the lead back above 20.

Houston led by as many as 28 before it was over.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Kenneth Faried had 11 points and 11 rebounds. … Gordon checked out less than two minutes into the opening period, appearing to favor his right ankle. He returned with 6:51 to go in the first quarter and wound up playing 21 minutes. … Six Rockets players scored at least 10 points, including Danuel House Jr. with 14 and P.J. Tucker with 11. … Houston outrebounded New Orleans 51-44 and shot 48.8 percent (42 of 86). More than half of the Rockets’ field goals (49) were taken from 3-point range, and they scored just 36 of their points in the paint.

Pelicans: Guard Jrue Holiday missed his eighth straight game with a strained abdomen. The Pelicans have seven games remaining. … Guard E’Twaun Moore, who has a bruised left quadriceps, also missed his eighth straight game. … New Orleans shot 41.3 percent (38 of 92) and went 7 of 28 from 3-point range while scoring 54 points in the paint. …. New Orleans narrowly eclipsed its season low of 88 points in a game. … Stanley Johnson scored 13 points.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Visit Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Pelicans: Host Atlanta on Tuesday.

Short URL: http://wtaw.com/?p=130852

Posted by on Mar 25 2019. Filed under Sports.
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