LOS ANGELES, USA – Raptors star Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Kyle Lowry had a triple-double with 13 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds as Toronto used a second-half surge to rout the New Orleans Pelicans, 127-104, in NBA action in Louisiana on Friday, March 8 (Saturday, March 9, Manila time).
Pascal Siakam scored 19 points and Jeremy Lin had 14 in the win.
The Pelicans played without 3 starters as Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain), E'Twaun Moore (quad contusion) and Anthony Davis (sore back) were ruled out.
Jahlil Okafor started in Davis' place, but he also left the contest in the 3rd quarter because of a sprained ankle.
@Klow7 (13 PTS, 12 AST, 11 REB) notches his 14th career triple-double to power the @Raptors in New Orleans! pic.twitter.com/f5KQdDuN67 — NBA (@NBA) March 9, 2019
The Raptors kept the 2nd spot in the Eastern Conference with a 47-19 record, 2.5 games behind the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks (49-16).
Rookie Frank Jackson led the Pelicans with 20 points, Julius Randle added 18 points and Cheick Diallo added 16 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.
The Pelicans remained way outside the playoff circle in the West at 12th place with a 30-38 slate.
In Florida, veteran guard Dwyane Wade sparked a third-quarter rally and the Miami Heat scored 10 straight in the final quarter to pull out a 126-110 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And in Los Angeles, Lou Williams came off the bench to score 40 points as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 118-110, for their seventh win in 9 games.
Danilo Gallinari scored a season-high 34 points and Ivica Zubac added 14 points and 7 rebounds for the Clippers.
#ClipperNation @TeamLou23 (40 PTS) guides the @LAClippers to victory and now holds the NBA record for most 30-point games off the bench (NBA began tracking starts in 1970-71)! pic.twitter.com/9KZkIEseDu — NBA (@NBA) March 9, 2019
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook had 32 points before fouling out with 54 seconds left and Paul George scored 15 points before he fouled out with 3:49 left.
After the game, George griped about the officials.
"We haven't gotten a fair whistle all year. We are getting grabbed, clawed, scratched, held," he said.
"The officials just get to walk out. There's nothing that penalizes them for not officiating the right way." – Rappler.com