Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 25th 2014 Contents A53
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
OKLAHOMA CITY---The Los Angeles Clippers
showed they are a strong contender for the NBA
Western Conference title by winning 125-117 at Con-
ference leader Oklahoma City on Sunday, with
Jamal Crawford scoring 36 points.
The result moved the Clippers 3 games clear atop
the Pacific Division, while the Thunder s lead in the
Northwest was trimmed to 4-1/2 games ahead of
Portland, which staged a creditable comeback win
over Minnesota despite being without leading scorer
Among other key results, Houston edged Phoenix
with a last-gasp three-pointer, and Miami comfortably
beat Chicago even without an injured LeBron James.
The Clippers recorded the highest score of any
team against Oklahoma City this season, with Matt
Barnes contributing 24 points.
Oklahoma City overcame a 15-point deficit late in
the third quarter to take a 115-112 lead with 2:43 to
play, but the Clippers controlled the game from there.
Kevin Durant had 42 points and ten assists for the
Thunder, which has been unable to rekindle momen-
tum since the All-Star break.
Jason Collins played his first game with the Brooklyn
Nets on Sunday night, becoming the first openly gay
player in the four major US professional sports leagues,
and Deron Williams had 30 points in a 108-102
victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Collins was signed to a ten-day contract Sunday,
nearly ten months after his announcement on April
29 in Sports Illustrated. He had two rebounds and
five fouls in ten scoreless minutes.
The 12-year veteran spent his first six-plus NBA
seasons with the Nets and helped them get to the
NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. This was the 35-year-
old centre s first NBA game since April 17, 2013, with
Paul Pierce scored 25 points, helping the Nets end
an 11-game losing streak against the Lakers.
Pau Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the
Lakers, who never led and lost for the 24th time in
30 games with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Xavier
Henry all sidelined by injuries.
With LeBron James watching from the bench in
a suit and tie, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade powered
Miami to a 93-79 victory over the Bulls.
James was a late scratch after he broke his nose
in Thursday s win at Oklahoma City, and his team-
mates picked up the slack. Bosh had 28 points and
ten rebounds, and Wade added 23 points, ten rebounds
and seven assists.
The Bulls also were also short-handed. Starter
Jimmy Butler was a late scratch because of bruised
Joakim Noah had 20 points, 15 rebounds and four
blocks for Chicago, which had won five in a row. The
Bulls shot 36 per cent.
Miami, playing at home for the first time in 20
days, extended its winning streak to five games.
Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, Rudy Gay had 32
and Sacramento earned its first win, 109-95, in
Denver in six years.
DeMarcus Cousins added 27 points for the Kings,
who snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Nuggets
at the Pepsi Center. It was Sacramento s first win in
the Mile High City since a 118-115 victory on April
5, 2008. The Kings have won three of their last four
Randy Foye and Evan Fournier each scored 27
points for the slumping Nuggets, who lost for the
seventh time in the last eight games. The Nuggets
fell to 1-5 without leading scorer Ty Lawson, who
missed a sixth game because of a fractured left rib.
Down 58-51 after Foye hit a pair of three-pointers
in the third quarter, the Kings responded with a 21-
2 run that put them in front 72-60 with 4:55 left in
Patrick Beverley sank the go-ahead three-pointer
with 34.3 seconds to play and Houston escaped with
the 115-112 win over Pheonix.
Dwight Howard scored 25, James Harden had 23
and Beverley 20 for the Rockets, who trailed by ten
entering the fourth quarter.
Goran Dragic scored a career-high 35 points for
the Suns, but missed a three at the buzzer. Gerald
Green had 18 of his 23 points in the third quarter,
and Markieff Morris finished with 21 points.
Beverley, who scored 12 in the fourth, made two
free throws that boosted Houston s lead to 113-110
with 20 seconds to go before Dragic scored on a
layup to cut it to 113-112 with 14.7 seconds to play.
Donatas Motiejunas sank two free throws with
14.1 seconds left to put Houston up 115-112. (AP)
Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (11) goes up for a shot between
Oklahoma City Thunder defenders Reggie Jackson (15) and Kevin Durant (35) in
the second quarter of an NBA match, Sunday night in Oklahoma City. Thunder
won 125-117. AP PHOTO
Clippers show West title creds
...silence Thunder 125-117
Trail Blazers 108 Timberwolves 97
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