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Tight NBA wins for Blazers, Thunder

By Chris Pike
16 December 2013 05:10PM EST

WESTERN conference leaders Portland and Oklahoma City just recorded tight wins over eastern conference battlers on Sunday with Sacramento continuing to impress led by Rudy Gay.

There were six matches in the NBA on Sunday with Denver beating New Orleans 102-93, Oklahoma City holding on to beat Orlando 101-98, Portland downing Detroit in overtime 111-109, Minnesota beating Memphis 101-93, Sacramento beating Houston 106-91 and Phoenix downing Golden State 106-102.

Denver bounced back to record a solid nine-point win over New Orleans on Saturday to improve to a 14-9 record on the season under new coach Brian Shaw.

Wilson Chandler led the way for the Nuggets finishing with 19 points and five rebounds with JJ Hickson also adding 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Nate Robinson also contributed 14 points and four assists off the bench while Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson added 12 points each.

Ryan Anderson top-scored for the Pelicans with 26 points and six rebounds with Austin Rivers adding 17 points off the bench. Jrue Holiday also had 12 points and seven assists.

Oklahoma City continued its winning ways but had to survive an impressive final quarter fight back to beat Orlando at home by three points.

The Thunder led by as much as 16 points but Orlando outscored them 27 points to 18 in the final quarter and the home side only just held on to win.

Kevin Durant top-scored for the Thunder with 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots on the back of 11-of-18 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point land.

Point guard Russell Westbrook added 20 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Oklahoma City with Jeremy Lamb scoring 16 points off the bench and Reggie Jackson 10.

Arron Afflalo continued his strong season for the Magic top-scoring with 25 points with Victor Oladipo adding 15 points, Nikola Vucevic 13 (16 rebounds), Jameer Nelson 13 (eight assists) and Glen Davis 11 (nine boards).

It took an overtime period in Detroit, but Portland continued to show the way in the western conference with a thrilling come from behind win by two points over the Pistons.

The Blazers had to come back from trailing by as much as 13 points, but dominated the fourth quarter to do so and then managed to eke out the win in overtime.

Portland improved to a 21-4 record with the result which was again set up by 27 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks from LaMarcus Aldridge.

Point guard Damian Lillard stepped up when it mattered most and had 23 points and seven assists for the Trail Blazers with Nicolas Batum scoring 18 points, Wesley Matthews 14 and Robin Lopez 12 to go with his 13 rebounds.

Josh Smith scored his most points in a game with Detroit finishing with 31 for the night to go with his seven rebounds and four assists on the back of shooting 13-of-17 from the field.

Greg Monroe added 17 points and seven rebounds for the Pistons while Rodney Stuckey scored 17 points, Andre Drummond 13 (14 rebounds) and Brandon Jennings 15 (10 assists, eight boards).

Minnesota then did well to beat the Grizzlies in Memphis by eight points that saw the Timberwolves improve to a 12-12 record on the season, and to also record their first win in 12 attempts against Memphis in a stretch that dates back to February 6, 2010.

Kevin Love continued his hot form for the T'Wolves since returning to the line-up from injury with another 30 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots set up by hitting four three-pointers.

Centre Nikola Pekovic added 19 points for the Timberwolves with Jose Barea scoring 15 points off the bench and point guard Ricky Rubio 12.

Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley led the way for his team with 28 points, five rebounds and three assists with Zach Randolph contributing 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

Jon Leuer had 15 points and nine boards for Memphis and Jerryd Bayless 14 points.

On the back of the recently arrived Rudy Gay, Sacramento scored an impressive 15-point win at home over Houston on Sunday.

In just his second game after being traded from Toronto to Sacramento, Gay finished with 26 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals for the Kings.

Centre DeMarcus Cousins added 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists while point guard Isaiah Thomas had 19 points and eight assists. Derrick Williams added 11 points from the bench.

James Harden top-scored for the Rockets with 25 points while Chandler Parsons adding 19 points, Aaron Brooks 13 and centre Dwight Howard 13 to go with his 10 boards and three blocks.

Phoenix also continued its surprisingly strong start to the NBA season improving to a 14-9 record following Sunday's four-point win at home against the now 13-12 Golden State.

Eric Bledsoe top-scored for the Suns with 24 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and three steals while his backcourt partner Goran Dragic added 21 points and four assists. The pair also shot for a combined 6-of-9 from three-point territory.

Channing Frye added 20 points for Phoenix, Marcus Morris 11 and Gerald Green 10.

Stephen Curry did all he could for the Warriors with 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

Klay Thompson scored 19 points with David Lee adding 18 to go with his 13 rebounds.

Australian centre Andrew Bogut also had a good night with nine points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots while shooting 4-of-6 from the field.

NBA Results Sunday December 15
New Orleans Pelicans (11-11) 93 lost to Denver Nuggets (14-9) 102
Orlando Magic (7-17) 98 lost to Oklahoma City Thunder (19-4) 101
Portland Trail Blazers (21-4) 111 defeated Detroit Pistons (11-14) 109
Minnesota Timberwolves (12-12) 101 defeated Memphis Grizzlies (10-13) 93
Houston Rockets (16-9) 91 lost to Sacramento Kings (7-15) 106
Golden State Warriors (13-12) 106 lost to Phoenix Suns (14-9) 106

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