LOS ANGELES (AP) – Los Angeles Clippers centre DeAndre Jordan had 24 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Clippers to a 110-95 win against the Houston Rockets in one of two key clashes between NBA Western Conference contenders on Wednesday.
The other West showdown resulted in Oklahoma City comfortably beating Memphis.
In the Eastern Conference, Toronto further built its massive lead in the Atlantic Division by narrowly beating Washington, while conference leader Atlanta was beaten on the buzzer at Boston.
The Clippers played their third game without Blake Griffin, who will be sidelined at least three weeks after surgery for a staph infection in his right elbow, but Jordan stepped up in his absence, as did Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick, who each had 20 points.
Jordan shot 6 for 8 from the field, extending his NBA-record streak to 39 consecutive games shooting at least 50 percent.
Corey Brewer scored 22 points for the Rockets, who have lost 11 of their past 12 meetings with the Clippers.
Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan hit a tiebreaking jump shot with 12 seconds left to give the Raptors a 95-93 victory over Washington.
Lou Williams scored 27 points and DeRozan had 23 for the Raptors, who have won seven of the past eight meetings with the Wizards, including all three this season.
John Wall scored 21 points for Washington, which fell into a tie with Cleveland for fourth in the East.
Oklahoma City got 50 points from the pairing of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to defeat Memphis 105-89.
Durant scored 26 points and Westbrook added 24 for the Thunder, who have won five of six heading into the All-Star break.
Zach Randolph scored 16 points for the Grizzlies, who had won 10 of their previous 11 games, and failed to capitalise on Houston’s loss, with the gap between the division rivals staying at three games.
Boston’s Evan Turner made a running scoop shot with 0.2 seconds left to give Boston its only lead of the game as the Celtics pinched an 89-88 win against Atlanta.
Jared Sullinger had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Celtics, while Turner had 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
Al Horford scored 22 points and added 12 rebounds for the Hawks, who suffered only their third loss of the calendar year.
San Antonio won 104-87 at Detroit, setting it up with a strong defensive performance in the first quarter.
Danny Green scored 19 points and Tony Parker added 17 for the Spurs, who held Detroit to 12 points in the first quarter and led comfortably through just about the entire second half.
DJ Augustin scored 22 points for the Pistons.
Dallas held on for an 87-82 home win against Utah, helped by 15 points in the third quarter by JJ Barea.
Starting while Rajon Rondo recovers from a broken orbital bone, Barea (22 points) got a boost when Monta Ellis joined him in the backcourt a day after being called doubtful with a hip injury.
Gordon Hayward was limited to 12 points for Utah and had two of his six turnovers in the closing minutes.