The San Antonio Spurs erased an early 10-point deficit to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-91 on Tuesday and extend their perfect record on the road to 13-0.
The Spurs are closing in on NBA history. They became just the second team to win their first 13 away games, after the Golden State Warriors won their first 14 of last season.
San Antonio notched away win No. 13 without veteran stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, with Parker ruled out because of a knee contusion and Ginobili in uniform but on the bench on the second night of back-to-back games.
Kawhi Leonard more than took up the slack, scoring 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Australian guard Patty Mills came off the bench to add 15 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Having twice trailed by 10 in the first half, the Spurs were down 46-43 at the interval.
As they did on Monday against the Bucks in Milwaukee, the Spurs produced a big third quarter to take control, out-scoring the Timberwolves 29-18 in the period.
Mills said he didn't know why the Spurs have been so successful on the road.
"Not sure, mate," he said. "It's hard to win an NBA game, especially on the road.
"Maybe (it's) that extra focus," he added. "Knowing that we're in another team's building and them trying to come out and wanting to beat us, there's that little bit extra focus or energy."
- Grizzlies win again -
The Grizzlies notched their fourth straight win, holding on to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 96-91 in a tight contest in Memphis.
Spanish center Marc Gasol scored 26 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who trailed 77-76 going into the fourth quarter.
After surrendering the lead, the 76ers produced a late 8-0 scoring run to regain a 91-89 advantage with 1:57 to play.
But Memphis power forward Zach Randolph tied the game at 91-91 with a put-back basket with 1:25 remaining.
Gasol made two free throws and Tony Allen made one as the Grizzlies took a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
It was a rewarding return for Randolph, who had missed seven games after the death of his mother on November 25.
“It's important to get back to working," Randolph said. "This is what my mother would want me to do. Don't sit around and be sad. Go back to work."
He received a standing ovation from Grizzlies fans when the team was introduced.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons wasted a 17-point first-half lead but kept their composure to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-91.
Andre Drummond produced 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who have won four of their last five games.
Marcus Morris had 13 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope contributed 12 for the Pistons, who also had seven points, five rebounds and 10 assists from reserve Ish Smith.
Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 32 points, six rebounds and four assists. Dwayne Wade added 19 points and seven assists and Taj Gibson had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Point guard Rajon Rondo, back after a one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, added 10 points.
But Chicago have lost three straight and six of their last nine.
"We're hitting a rough patch right now and you've got to find a way to fight through that," Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Despite a sluggish fourth quarter, the Utah Jazz held on to beat the Phoenix Suns 112-105 for their seventh win in eight games.
Gordon Hayward scored 27 points and French defensive standout Rudy Gobert added a career-high 22 points with 11 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead the Jazz.
Devin Booker scored 21 points for the Suns, who rallied from a 23-point deficit but never managed to get in front despite trimming the gap to as little as two points.
Magic topple Wizards despite Wall's 52 points
Fifty-two points from John Wall weren't enough for the Washington Wizards on Tuesday as they fell 124-116 to the surging Orlando Magic.
Wall became the fourth NBA player to score 50 or more points in a single game this season.
He connected on 18 of 31 shots, including five of eight from three-point range, but with little help from his supporting cast the Wizards lost for the third time in four games.
The Magic, meanwhile, closed out a five-game roadtrip with a flourish.
Reeling from four straight defeats when they departed on their road trip, they upset the Spurs in San Antonio, narrowly lost to the Grizzlies in Memphis, beat the 76ers in Philadelphia and surprised the Pistons in Detroit.
Elfrid Payton scored 22 of his career-high 25 points in the first half, connecting on nine of 12 shots from the field on the night.
With Tuesday's win, they snapped a 13-game skid against the Wizards in games in which Wall played.
Payton made his first nine shots and he was a perfect three for three from three-point range as the Magic posted their highest point total of the season.
Jeff Green scored 20 points, Jodie Meeks 18 and Nikola Vucevic 10 off the Magic bench. Led by Payton, Orlando's reserves outscored Washington's 73-22.
"We're growing on that end of the floor," Magic coach Frank Vogel said of Orlando's offense.
"We didn't play well early in the season, but some of the guys are finding their spots, and I'm finding ways to use them. We got several great contributions, starting with Elfrid Payton. (He) came off the bench, having the game of his life. He was terrific tonight."
The Wizards pulled within 115-107 with 3:43 remaining, but a three-pointer from Green capped a 5-0 burst for the Magic that effectively extinguished any hope of a comeback by Washington, who were out-scored 40-28 in the second quarter and trailed by as many as 20.
"Unacceptable," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of his team's second-quarter defense.
"We have to be able to sustain a sense of urgency possession by possession," Brooks added. "It was spotty at best. Until we do that, we're going to put ourselves in a bad position."
Updated Date: Dec 07, 2016 14:13:29 IST