Spurs whip Suns to notch 12th consecutive victory


Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to their 12th straight victory, a 117-89 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

Leonard, selected as an All-Star starter for first time in his career earlier in the day, scored eight of his points in the third quarter for San Antonio. Boban Marjanovic added 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Jonathon Simmons had 13 points.

Having already tied the best start in franchise history, the Spurs moved to 37-6 and kept pace with the 2010-11 team, which also had a 37-6 mark. They got 66 points from their bench.

San Antonio cruised despite missing starters Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Parker had right hip soreness and Duncan was given the night off to rest.

Devin Booker’s 24 points led the Suns, who lost their sixth straight and 15th in 16 games. Archie Goodwin added 20 points and Tyson Chandler grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds.

Phoenix was down to only nine available players to start the game, with starting guard Brandon Knight out due to an abductor strain.

Forwards Mirza Teletovic (sprained ankle), Jon Leuer (back spasms) and Markieff Morris (shoulder strain) — all injured before or during Tuesday’s loss to Indiana — also did not play.

All nine played Thursday, but forward P.J. Tucker took a shot to the chest midway through the first quarter trying to defend a drive by Leonard and didn’t return due to a contusion.

The Spurs led by as many as 18 points in the first half after a layup by David West with 6:08 left in the second quarter.

No starter played more than the 29 minutes by San Antonio’s Ray McCallum, who started in place of Parker. Cavaliers 115, Clippers 102

In Cleveland, LeBron James had 22 points and 12 assists, J.R. Smith made six 3-pointers and the Cavaliers beat Los Angeles.

Kevin Love added 18 points and 16 rebounds for Cleveland.

Chris Paul scored 30 for the Clippers, who made only six 3-pointers after knocking down 22 on Monday against Houston. Los Angeles was again without star forward Blake Griffin (torn quadriceps). Pelicans 115, Pistons 99

In New Orleans, Anthony Davis scored 32 points and the Pelicans beat Detroit.

Andre Drummond had 19 points and 22 rebounds for the Pistons. Kings 91, Hawks 88

In Sacramento, DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 15 rebounds to help the Kings beat Atlanta for their fourth straight win and first against the Hawks in nearly eight years.

Rajon Rondo made a clutch basket in the fourth quarter and had his fifth triple-double of the season with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for Sacramento.

Paul Millsap had 14 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Grizzlies 102, Nuggets 101

In Denver, Marc Gasol had 27 points, including a go-ahead three-point play with 12.2 seconds left, and the Grizzlies beat the Nuggets.

Danilo Gallinari, who led Denver with 17 points, missed a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left and Conley followed with two free throws.

Kobe top vote-getter

New York AP

Kobe Bryant is the leading vote-getter for his final NBA All-Star Game, and Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry made late moves to join him in the starting lineup.

Leonard will start in his first All-Star Game and Lowry will start on his home court in Toronto after both made up ground in the final days of voting.

Nobody was catching Bryant, who had 1.9 million votes and was selected an All-Star for the 18th time.

MVP Stephen Curry of Golden State was next with 1.6 million and they will be joined in the Western Conference lineup by Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and Leonard, the San Antonio star who was more than 12,000 votes behind Golden State’s Draymond Green for the last frontcourt spot after the most recent returns.

Cleveland’s LeBron James and Indiana’s Paul George will start on the East frontline with New York’s Carmelo Anthony, who held off Chicago’s Pau Gasol by 360 votes.

Miami’s Dwyane Wade starts at guard with Lowry, who overcame a 32,000-vote deficit to Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving after the last update.

The reserves will be voted by the head coaches in each conference and be announced next Thursday.