LOS ANGELES – Despite having the NBA’s best record, the Indiana Pacers realize there’s always room for improvement.
David West scored 14 of his 24 points in the third quarter and grabbed 12 rebounds, Paul George had 27 points, and the Pacers improved their best start in franchise history to 16-1 on Sunday with a 105-100 victory that snapped the Los Angeles Clippers’ four-game winning streak.
“We can become a lot better. We’re still nowhere close to where we want to be offensively, and that’s the next step for us,” George said. “The defense is clicking well, the transition defense is clicking well, and we’re playing like a team. This was a great win for us. We knew coming in that it was going to be a hard-fought game.”
Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with 20 points — the 10th time this season that a Pacers opponent didn’t have anyone with more than 20. Chris Paul had 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Blake Griffin scored 16 and pulled down 12 rebounds, equaling teammate DeAndre Jordan’s total.
“We’re always up for a challenge, and we had a good one today,” said center Roy Hibbert, who helped fuel the Pacers’ seventh straight win with 19 points. “The Clippers are going to be a contender for the Western Conference finals, so we just had to get in there and grind it out today and finish it off. But we have a lot more work to do. We don’t worry about swagger. We’re just five individuals out there on the court playing together.”
Heat 99, Bobcats 98
In Miami, Chris Bosh scored 13 straight points in the final minutes, including a trio of 3-pointers that capped a late rally as the Heat found a way to beat Charlotte to extend their winning streak to 10 games.
Bosh’s three 3s came in a 79-second span, the last of them putting Miami up 93-91 with 1:20 left.
Thunder 113, Timberwolves 103
In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant recorded his first triple-double of the season with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists as the Thunder rallied for yet another fourth-quarter win, beating Minnesota.
Oklahoma City extended its winning streak to seven games, tops in the Western Conference, and moved to 9-0 on the season at home. It’s the franchise’s longest home winning streak to open a season since the 2004-05 campaign, when the team played in Seattle.
Pelicans 103, Knicks 99
In New York, Ryan Anderson made seven 3-pointers and scored 31 points as New Orleans overcame the loss of Anthony Davis to a broken left hand.
Tyreke Evans added 24 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, as the Pelicans sent the Knicks to their ninth straight loss overall and seventh in a row at home.
Warriors 115, Kings 113
In Sacramento, Stephen Curry made two free throws with 8.6 seconds left and had 12 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, helping Golden State beat the Kings.
Curry made five 3-pointers and also added 10 assists for the Warriors, who had lost two straight and five of six.
Pistons 115, 76ers 100
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Andre Drummond had 31 points and 19 rebounds as Detroit beat Philadelphia.
Nuggets 112, Raptors 98
In Toronto, Nate Robinson scored 23 points off the bench as Denver beat the Raptors for its sixth straight victory.
The diminutive guard hit five 3-pointers, including back-to-back baskets with just over two minutes to go, as the Nuggets pulled away.
Trail Blazers 114, Lakers 108
In Los Angeles, LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and nine rebounds, and the Trail Blazers blew most of a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter before holding on to beat the Lakers for their 12th victory in 13 games.