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Toronto Raptors blow out Los Angeles Clippers to extend Eastern Conference lead

Tuesday night wins for the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs

Wednesday 12 December 2018 08:07, UK

Serge Ibaka scores on Clippers center Marcin Gortat
Image: Serge Ibaka scores on Clippers center Marcin Gortat

Toronto Raptors snapped a two-game losing streak and extended their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference with a blowout victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Tuesday night's results

  • Toronto Raptors 123-99 Los Angeles Clippers
  • Portland Trail Blazers 103-111 Houston Rockets
  • Phoenix Suns 86-111 San Antonio Spurs

Toronto Raptors 123-99 Los Angeles Clippers

nba raptors clippers
Highlights from the NBA as Toronto Raptors took on LA Clippers at the Staples Center

Serge Ibaka had 25 points and nine rebounds as the visiting Toronto Raptors ended a two-game losing streak with a 123-99 win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

Kyle Lowry came in 4-for-28 from the floor over the past four games, but shot 8-for-13 while scoring 21 points. Jonas Valanciunas added 16 points off the bench and Pascal Siakam finished with 13 points for Toronto.

Boban Marjanovic scored 18 points and fellow reserve Tyrone Wallace finished with a season-high 15 points to lead the Clippers. Danilo Gallinari led the starters with 11 points and Tobias Harris finished with 10, well below his season average (21.4).

The Eastern Conference-leading Raptors played without Kawhi Leonard, who has not played in games on consecutive days this season. Toronto play defending NBA champions the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

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Fred VanVleet moved into the starting lineup and finished with a career-high 14 assists, including 10 in the first half, when the Raptors shot 63.8 per cent from the floor.

Toronto led 70-57 at the break and the Clippers never pulled any closer. Ibaka's dunk made it 81-61 with 7:57 left in the third quarter, and the Clippers' largest deficit of the season grew further when Lowry made a three-pointer to make it 103-71 with 1:02 left in the third.

The Clippers played without sixth man Lou Williams, who is averaging about 17 points a game. Williams is expected to miss two to three weeks with a left hamstring injury, coach Doc Rivers told reporters earlier in the day.

Portland Trail Blazers 103-111 Houston Rockets

trail blazers rockets nba 2:19
Highlights from the NBA as Portland Trail Blazers took on Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center

James Harden scored a team-high 29 points, but it was a maligned group of reserves who helped carry the host Houston Rockets to a come-from-behind 111-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.

Following a change in their starting lineup, with guard Eric Gordon replacing James Ennis, the Rockets received 37 points from their bench. Gerald Green (13 points), Danuel House Jr. (12) and Nene (10) all scored in double figures to help Houston snap a three-game skid.

The Rockets' four-man bench shot 15 of 22 from the floor, and with Houston trailing 78-75 late in the third quarter, inspired a 25-5 run that stretched into the fourth. Green and House were instrumental during that stretch as the Rockets built a 100-83 lead before Portland rallied.

James Harden shoots a free throw against Portland
Image: James Harden shoots a free throw against Portland

The Trail Blazers clawed within 102-97 on a pair of free throws by Jusuf Nurkic (15 points, 10 rebounds) with 2:56 remaining before Gordon (14 points) responded with a driving layup that beat the shot clock.

Rockets guard Chris Paul (11 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) sealed the win at the free-throw line as Portland took their fifth consecutive road loss.

Damian Lillard paced the Trail Blazers with 34 points while CJ McCollum chipped in 22.

Phoenix Suns 86-111 San Antonio Spurs

nba suns spurs 1:49
Highlights from the NBA as Phoenix Suns took on San Anontio Spurs at the AT&T Center

Bryn Forbes scored a season-high 24 points and pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds to lead a balanced San Antonio attack as the Spurs strolled past the visiting Phoenix Suns 111-86.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich earned his 1,211th career win, moving him past Pat Riley for fourth place on the all-time NBA coaching victories list. Ahead of him are Don Nelson (1,335), Lenny Wilkens (1,332) and Jerry Sloan (1,221).

With a third consecutive victory, San Antonio moved to 14-14 on the season.

The Spurs led by 13 at the half and were never challenged through the third and fourth quarters, with San Antonio's starters spending the final 12 minutes on the bench.

Bryn Forbes attempts a lay-up against the Phoenix Suns
Image: Bryn Forbes attempts a lay-up against the Phoenix Suns

The Spurs were up 88-64 heading into the fourth quarter and enjoyed a game-high 25-point advantage early in the fourth and again at game's end.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points for San Antonio while Dante Cunningham hit for 14 points (helped by a 4-for-4 showing from beyond the three-point arc).

TJ Warren paced the Suns with 23 points. De'Anthony Melton scored 17, and Deandre Ayton notched 12 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix, who have lost 10 straight games and have the worst record in the NBA at 4-24.

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