SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs continued their historic start to the season, even if the team has little interest in such milestones.
Kawhi Leonard had 29 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 10 rebounds and San Antonio won its 31st straight at home to open the season by upending the short-handed Chicago Bulls 109-101 on Thursday night.
Tony Parker added 20 points and had 12 assists for the Spurs, who have won 40 straight at home going back to last season.
San Antonio is off to its best start after 65 games at 55-10 and extended its franchise-record home winning streaks.
“It’s a record season yes, but it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t go all the way,” Parker said.
Chicago put San Antonio’s home streak in jeopardy despite playing without Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah and Cameron Bairstow, who were not with the team because of injuries.
The Bulls remained within six points in the opening six minutes of the fourth quarter, but were unable to draw any closer as the Spurs continued to get second attempts.
After Chicago forced Aldridge to miss a 6.4-meter jumper, Danny Green came soaring in for a one-handed dunk that gave the Spurs a 102-92 lead with five minutes remaining.
Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol had 21 points each for the Bulls. E’Twaun Moore had 20 points, going 4-for-5 on 3-pointers.
Leonard finished 10-for-15 from the field, but only had five free-throw attempts.
Cavaliers 120, Lakers 108
In Los Angeles, LeBron James scored 24 points while sharing a court with Kobe Bryant for the final time, leading Cleveland past the Lakers.
Bryant had 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting in an entertaining farewell duel between two of the greatest players in NBA history.
Bryant, who will retire after the season, ignored his constantly sore right shoulder to make sure he didn’t miss his 22nd meeting with James on an NBA court, albeit never in the playoffs.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points and Channing Frye had 21 for the Cavaliers, who have won on the first two stops of their four-game West Coast road trip.
Raptors 104, Hawks 96
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan had 30 points and five rebounds to help the Raptors beat Atlanta.
Kyle Lowry had 19 points and seven assists for Toronto, and Luis Scola had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Al Horford led the Hawks with 20 points.
Nuggets 116, Suns 98
In Denver, Emmanuel Mudiay scored a career-high 30 points in a matchup of rookie guards and the Nuggets defeated Phoenix for their third straight victory.
Suns rookie Devin Booker had a career-high 35 points in the loss.