Basketball

Spurs just hold off Nuggets for13th straight home win

DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge combined for 46 points as the resurgent San Antonio Spurs won their 13th straight game at home against Denver Nuggets by holding on for a 104-103 NBA win yesterday morning (Singapore time).

DeRozan finished with 24 points and Aldridge scored 22 as the Spurs withstood a torrid comeback by the Nuggets, who were down 21 points at one stage and scored the final nine points of the contest.

"It almost seems like we've just been able to flip a switch, which isn't the easiest thing to do," Spurs guard Patty Mills said.

"It's been our defence that has won it for us."

Rudy Gay finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, guard Derrick White had 11 points and nine assists for the Spurs.

Jamal Murray tallied 25 points to lead the Nuggets, who also missed three shots in the final 16 seconds of the fourth quarter.

Nuggets guard Murray missed a three-point attempt with 16.2 seconds left and Gary Harris failed on another shot from beyond the arc from the left corner as the buzzer sounded.

The Spurs have now defeated two of the top-three teams in the Western Conference in back-to-back games after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder two days ago.

Denver dropped to two games behind two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors for the top record in the West.

San Antonio have now won three straight and two of three games against Denver this season.

In Los Angeles, Los Angeles Clippers cruised to a 113-105 win over the fading Los Angeles Lakers.

Danilo Gallinari scored 23 points, Lou Williams added 21 for the Clippers.

Patrick Beverley was given the unenviable task of guarding superstar LeBron James and did a superb job of shutting him down.

James scored 27 points and Rajon Rondo had his 32nd career triple-double with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who dropped to 30-34.

The Lakers are 4-8 in games James has played since returning from a 17-game absence because of a groin injury.

Yesterday's loss was the Lakers fifth in the last six, leaving them 51/2 games behind eighth- placed San Antonio with their play-off hopes quickly slipping away. The Lakers have 18 games left, the Spurs 17 and the Clippers 16. - AFP

OTHER RESULTS: Brooklyn 127 Dallas 88, Miami 114 Atlanta 113, Sacramento 115 New York 108, Phoenix 114 Milwaukee 105, Utah 112 New Orleans 115

Basketball