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Spurs down Grizzlies, Raptors beat the Heat in NBA

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LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points to power San Antonio over visiting Memphis 97-90, at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on March 23, 2017 © Getty/AFP / Harry How

WASHINGTON, United States, Mar 24LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points and Kawhi Leonard added 19 to power San Antonio over visiting Memphis 97-90 on Thursday, moving the Spurs within two games of NBA-leading Golden State.

Australian reserve Patty Mills netted 15 points and French guard Tony Parker contributed 13 as the Spurs improved to 55-16 with their third consecutive triumph, staying within range of the pace-setting Warriors (57-14) with 11 games remaining.

Aldridge cracked the 15,000-point mark for his NBA career with a jumper in the fourth quarter.

Mike Conley scored 22 points to lead the Grizzlies, who fell to 40-32, 1 1/2 games behind Oklahoma City in a fight for sixth in the Western Conference.

DeMar DeRozan scored 40 points and the Toronto Raptors stretched their win streak to four games, rallying from an early 15-point deficit to beat the Miami Heat 101-84.

“I was just trying to be aggressive and try to pick it up on the defensive end as well — not just trying to go up there scoring,” DeRozan said. “We slowly started getting into it and started playing like we wanted to play.”

Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez scored 19 points to spark the Nets back from an early 15-point deficit to a 126-98 rout of Phoenix Suns, at Barclays Center in New York, on March 23, 2017 © Getty/AFP/File / Elsa

DeRozan made 14-of-25 shots from the floor and 12-of-13 from the free throw line to achieve 40-or-more points in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, after netting 42 against Chicago on Tuesday.

“I don’t think about scoring a certain amount of points or nothing like that,” DeRozan said. “I just go out there and let my game speak for itself — take what they give me.”

The Raptors (43-29) took the lead for good after a 20-4 run during a six-minute stretch overlapping the third and fourth quarters.

Damian Lillard scored 30 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers over the visiting New York Knicks 110-95. The Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony due to a left knee injury and Derrick Rose with a right foot injury.

Dallas edged the Los Angeles Clippers 97-95, scoring the final five points over the last 2:30 of the fourth quarter.

Seth Curry’s jump shot pulled the host Mavericks within 95-94 with 2:19 to play and Dallas took the lead at 96-95 on Harrison Barnes’ jumper with 68 seconds to play.

The Clippers had three chances to answer but a Chris Paul miss and two turnovers — the last by Blake Griffin with three seconds remaining — led to a Wesley Matthews free throw to create the final margin as J.J. Redick missed a desperation 3-point attempt at the closing buzzer.

Curry finished with 23 points to lead Dallas while Barnes added 21 and Griffin had 21 to lead the Clippers.

Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez scored 19 points to spark the Nets back from an early 15-point deficit to a 126-98 rout of Phoenix Suns, giving the NBA’s losingest team a 15-56 record and back-to-back wins for the first time in a year.

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