The Houston Rockets failed to keep pace in the Western Conference on Friday after losing to the San Antonio Spurs, 122-116.
Normally, if James Harden and Jeremy Lin combine for 54 points and 15 assists the Rockets should expect a win. But those numbers from Houston's back court weren't enough to overcome an offensive outburst from the Spurs. Point guard Tony Parker paced San Antonio with 31 points and 10 assists while Tim Duncan added 30 points of his own.
The loss dropped the Rockets six games behind the Spurs in the Southwest Division standings and 7.5 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers at the top of the conference standings.
In other key games, the Oklahoma City Thunder survived overtime against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday to rally for a 111-105 win as Kevin Durant dropped 40 points.
Meanwhile, the Clippers took control of the conference lead with a strong 106-77 blowout of the Boston Celtics on Thursday, followed by a hard-fought road win over the Utah Jazz on Friday. The Clips won their 16th-consecutive game by scoring 68 second-half points to beat the Jazz, 116-114.
Other Western Conference contenders in action on Friday included the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors. Golden State earned a 96-89 win over the Philadelphia 76ers as David Lee scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Denver ran past Dallas, 106-85, thanks to 39 points from Danilo Gallinari and 19 rebounds from Kenneth Faried.
In another big East-West match-up, James Johnson made a late three-pointer to lift the Sacramento Kings to an upset win over the New York Knicks 106-105.
Here's a look at the full NBA scoreboard.