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Granger leads Pacers past Thunder

– The Indiana Pacers faced Kevin Durant’s best effort and held on.

Durant scored 44 points, but Danny Granger had 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to help the Pacers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-98 Friday for their fourth straight win.

Durant, the NBA’s No. 2 scorer, posted his second-best scoring total of the season. It was the most a player has scored against the Pacers this season.

“He’s probably the top offensive player in the NBA,” Granger said. “They’ve got him at 6-10, but he’s really 7 feet. You can’t get to his jump shot, and he’s got crossovers and stuff that a guy his size isn’t supposed to have. He’s tough to defend. He got a lot of points, but we got the win.”

Roy Hibbert had 21 points and 12 rebounds, David West scored 14 points and Paul George added eight points and a career-high 16 rebounds for the Pacers (34-21), who have won eight of 10.

The Pacers felt it was an important to beat one of the top teams in the Western Conference so close to playoff time. Indiana is 1 1/2 games ahead of Atlanta for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

“They’re fighting for a No. 1 seed,” Granger said. “We’re fighting for a seed in our conference. That wasn’t a game that either team could afford to lose and we came out on top, so I think that says a lot about us as a team and the steps that we’re taking.”

GRIZZLIES 97, HEAT 82: In Miami, Rudy Gay scored 17 points, and Zach Randolph had 14 points and 14 rebounds off the bench as Memphis snapped Miami’s 17-game home winning streak.

LeBron James finished with 21 points, six assists and six rebounds for the Heat.

HAWKS 101, PISTONS 96: In Atlanta, Jeff Teague tied a career high with 24 points and had a season-high 11 assists, and Josh Smith added 20 points and 12 rebounds as Atlanta won its second straight and three of four to hold the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference.

Rodney Stuckey finished with 27 points for the Pistons.

CAVALIERS 84, RAPTORS 80: In Toronto, Antawn Jamison scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and Lester Hudson had a career-high 23 points as Cleveland snapped a nine-game losing streak.

Cavaliers coach Byron Scott wasn’t around to see his team’s first win since March 19 at New Jersey. Scott was ejected with 53 seconds left in the first half after a brief but fiery argument with referee Kane Fitzgerald.

SPURS 128, HORNETS 103: In San Antonio, Tim Duncan scored 19 points as San Antonio won its 10th straight to move atop the Western Conference standings.

Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills scored 14 points each and Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal added 13 apiece to help the Spurs sweep the four-game season series against New Orleans.

BUCKS 95, BOBCATS 90: In Milwaukee, Monta Ellis had 25 points and nine assists to lead Milwaukee.

Byron Mullens scored a career-high 31 points and tied his career high with 14 rebounds, becoming the first Bobcat to score at least 30 points this season.

TRAIL BLAZERS 99, MAVERICKS 97, OT: In Dallas, LaMarcus Aldridge’s buzzer-beating 17-foot jumper lifted Portland

Aldridge, a former Dallas-area high school star who finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds, made the fallaway jumper over the Mavericks’ Brendan Haywood at the overtime buzzer.

NETS 110, WIZARDS 98: In Newark, N.J., Deron Williams had 19 points and 13 assists in fighting off the lingering effects of the flu to help New Jersey hand Washington its fifth straight loss.

JAZZ 104, WARRIORS 98: In Salt Lake City, Al Jefferson scored 30 points and Devin Harris added a season-high 28 to lead the Utah, which snapped a two-game home losing streak.

NUGGETS 105, SUNS 99: In Denver, Arron Afflalo had 30 points, and Denver scored the final nine points to beat Phoenix.