Golden State Warriors clinch home-court advantage
OAKLAND, California (AP):
Golden State wrapped up home-court advantage throughout the NBA play-offs by beating their nearest rivals San Antonio 112-101 on Thursday, and the Warriors kept alive their hopes of breaking the record for the most wins in a regular season.
The Warriors bounced back from their surprise defeat two nights earlier against Minnesota and joined the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls as the only teams to win 70 games. Golden State can break Chicago's single-season record of 72 wins by sweeping the final three games of the campaign, including a rematch in San Antonio tomorrow.
Elsewhere, Atlanta held on to their narrow lead in the tight fight over third place in the Eastern Conference by beating Toronto, keeping the Hawks just ahead of Boston and Miami, who defeated Chicago.
Golden State's Stephen Curry scored 27 points and Harrison Barnes added 21 for the Warriors, who avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time all season.
Kawhi Leonard scored 23 points for the Spurs, who will enter the play-offs next weekend as the second seed in the West.
Atlanta's Jeff Teague scored 23 points to lead the Hawks to an important 95-87 win against second-seeded Toronto.
Kyle Korver added 14 for the Hawks, who had lost their previous three meetings with the Raptors this season.
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each finished with 16 points for Toronto, who slipped 31/2 games behind East leaders Cleveland.
Miami remained half a game behind Atlanta after winning 106-98 against Chicago despite a slow start.
Dwyane Wade scored 21 points and Joe Johnson added 17 for the Heat, who clamped down late to secure a ninth win in their past 10 home games.
Jimmy Butler scored 25 points for the Bulls.
Phoenix dealt another blow to Houston's dwindling play-off chances by winning 124-115 on the road.
Minnesota completed a four-game season sweep of Sacramento by winning 105-97 against the Kings.