Eastern Conference leaders, the Indiana Pacers slipped to a 90-76 defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers, giving Mike Brown’s side a glimmer of hope for a play-off spot.
Six Cavs made double figures on the night, Dion Waiters top-scoring with 19 points, as they ended a nine-game losing streak against the Pacers. However, the Pacers have now lost five of their last seven – all those defeats have come on the road, but getting back to winning ways ahead of the playoffs will be difficult with the visit of 17-game streakers San Antonio coming to town on Monday night.
With seven games left in the season, the clock is ticking for the Cavs but six of their remaining fixtures are against teams with losing records, including showdowns with the Bobcats and the Hawks who occupy seventh and eighth spot in the East.
Chris Kaman’s career-best double-double of 28 points and 17 rebounds proved plenty for the Los Angeles Lakers in a comfortable 115-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix came in off the back of six straight wins, but the Lakers dominated the first half and although the contest was much closer in the final two quarters, LA hung on to put a dent in to the Suns’ playoff spot chase.
Kevin Durant took one more step towards breaking a record that has lasted almost a generation as the Oklahoma City Thunder brushed aside the Utah Jazz 116-96.
Durant led the way with 31 points and nine assists, the 38th consecutive match in which he has scored over 25 points, and is now just two games away from equalling Michael Jordan’s 1986/87 season record.
The Portland Trail Blazers made it a third straight win after beating the Memphis Grizzlies 105-98, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge’s tally of 26 points.
Despite letting slip a 19-point lead at half-time, the Toronto Raptors also produced a third win in a row with a 98-93 win over the Orlando Magic, as the Boston Celtics went down 107-102 to the Chicago Bulls, with DJ Augustin posting a career-best 33 points.
The New York Knicks momentum towards a play-off spot also continued as they overcame the Golden State Warriors 89-84 and the Brooklyn Nets earned their 13th consecutive home victory with a 114-99 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.