SAN ANTONIO (AP) – San Antonio shook off its home-court overtime blues to beat New Orleans 95-93 on Wednesday, having only tied the game with 0.2 seconds of time remaining in regulation.
The Spurs lost in overtime at home three times in the month of December and seemed destined for a fourth such defeat on New Year’s Eve when they fell behind by six points in the extra period, but Manu Ginobili had seven points in overtime to turn it around for the hosts.
Among other games to close out 2014, Milwaukee downed a Cleveland side still without LeBron James, Oklahoma City beat Phoenix in a high-scoring thriller and Houston posted a comfortable win against Charlotte.
San Antonio star Tim Duncan had 16 points and 10 rebounds, tying Hall of Famer Karl Malone for fifth in career double-doubles with 814. It was Duncan who was credited with tipping in Boris Diaw’s inbound pass at the rim with a split second remaining in regulation.
Anthony Davis had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Pelicans.
Milwaukee led most of the way to win 98-80 at Cleveland. LeBron James missed his second straight game with knee soreness, and Kevin Love was also absent with back spasms, and the Cavaliers went on to their fourth loss in five games.
Brandon Knight scored 26 points and O.J. Mayo added 15 points for the Bucks.
Kyrie Irving notched 25 points for Cleveland, which scored only seven points in the third quarter; a season low.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant scored 44 points in his return from six games out with an ankle sprain, and helped the Thunder beat Phoenix 137-134 in overtime.
Durant was 13 of 23 from the field and 12 for 12 at the free-throw line. He also had 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Oklahoma City managed to win despite Russell Westbrook being ejected for his second technical foul just before halftime.
Anthony Murrow broke a tie in overtime with a four-point play, and the Thunder held on when Markieff Morris missed a 3-pointer attempt with 2.9 seconds left.
Eric Bledsoe led the Suns with 29 points.
Houston made a big run early in the third quarter to set up a 102-83 win against Charlotte.
James Harden scored 36 points, including eight straight to push the advantage to 99-79 with 2 1/2 minutes remaining.
It was the NBA-leading 14th 30-point game this season for Harden, who leads the league in scoring. He made eight 3-pointers and also had six assists and seven rebounds.
The loss extends Charlotte’s skid to four games. The Hornets played without leading scorer Al Jefferson, who is out with a groin strain.