Raptors hold off Warriors in heavyweight clash

Los Angeles: The Toronto Raptors withstood a 51-point performance from Kevin Durant to beat two-time defending champions Golden State 131-128 in overtime Thursday in a game billed as a possible NBA Finals preview.
Kawhi Leonard scored 37 points and Pascal Siakam added a career high 26 for the Raptors, who notched a seventh straight victory to improve their league-leading record to 19-4 in front of a jubilant home crowd.
“It’s a building block for us,” Leonard said. “We were able to make shots, we were able to get some stops in overtime. I’m happy we got the win.”
The Warriors, playing without injured stars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, fell to 15-8 as they endured their fifth straight road defeat. They’re a game behind Western Conference leaders the Los Angeles Clippers, who beat the Kings 133-121 in Sacramento on the second night of a back-to-back.
Elsewhere in the West, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from their biggest defeat of the season — a 117-85 loss to the Denver Nuggets — with a 104-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
After building a 23-point first-quarter lead the Lakers saw the Pacers battle back to briefly take the lead in the third quarter.
But James came through in the clutch, scoring 12 of his 38 points in the last five minutes.
“That’s what I’m here for,” said James, a three-time NBA champion who joined a developing Lakers team as a free agent prior to the season.
James had nine rebounds and seven assists as he rebounded from a season-low 14 points in the loss at Denver.
“LeBron was spectacular, but we got a lot of really good efforts from different people,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “That’s what it takes to win in this league.”
Brandon Ingram scored 14 points and Josh Hart chipped in 13 for the Lakers, who notched their 10th win in 14 games. — AFP