Salt Lake City: The Los Angeles Clippers were forced to dig deep to keep their extraordinary NBA winning streak going, coming from 19 points down in the third quarter to edge the Utah Jazz 116-114 on Saturday and notch a 16th straight victory.
In other key results, the San Antonio Spurs ended the Houston Rockets’ five-game winning run, the Golden State Warriors almost gave up a big lead but hung on to beat Philadelphia while the Sacramento Kings did give up a 27-point lead against the New York Knicks before snatching the win with a 3-pointer on the buzzer.
Los Angeles’ Chris Paul scored 29 points, including the Clippers last seven, most from the free-throw line.
Ex-Clipper Randy Foye’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was contested by Matt Barnes, but no foul was called. Foye finished with a season-high 28 points for Utah.
The Jazz led 74-55 with 8:08 left in the third quarter but the visitors outscored Utah 29-14 the rest of the quarter to lead at the last break.
San Antonio trio Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined to score 84 points in the Spurs’ 122-116 win over Houston.
Parker had 31 points and 10 assists, Duncan had 30 points and five rebounds, and Ginobili had a season-high 23 points for San Antonio, which shored up the win with seven steals in the fourth quarter.
James Harden scored 33 points for the Rockets, who were only 10 of 23 from the field in the final quarter.
Six Golden State players reached double figures as the Warriors held off a late Philadelphia charge and beat the 76ers 96-89, with David Lee scoring 25 points with 12 rebounds.
Jarrett Jack added 16 points in a reserve role for the Warriors, who nearly blew a 20-point lead in the second half before securing its first win over the Sixers in more than two years.
Jrue Holiday had 21 points and 10 assists for Philadelphia, which was making a third stop on an eight-game trip.
Sacramento looked to have blown its huge lead over New York but on the Kings’ final chance, John Salmons found James Johnson, who sank the 3-pointer to snatch a 106-105 win. Marcus Thornton scored 18 points, and Johnson had 17 for the Kings.
J.R. Smith scored a season-high 28 points for the Knicks, who were again without injured leading scorer Carmelo Anthony.
The Miami Heat was also missing a key player — the suspended Dwyane Wade — and paid the price, losing 109-99 at the Detroit Pistons.
Will Bynum had 25 points and 10 assists, leading another spirited performance by the Detroit reserves, who had 64 points. Charlie Villanueva had 18 for the Pistons, who trailed by 15 points after one quarter but outscored the Heat 41-20 in the second to turn it around.
LeBron James had 35 points for Miami.
Denver’s Danilo Gallinari scored a career-high 39 points as the Nuggets spoiled Dirk Nowitzki’s first home game since returning from knee surgery by beating the Dallas Mavericks 106-85.
Nowitzki had five points in 17 minutes in his third game back, and the Mavericks lost their fifth straight for the first time since January 2011.
Gallinari scored five points in the 5.3 seconds before halftime and opened the second half with a 3-pointer to put the Nuggets up by 11. Andre Iguodala hit four 3-pointers in a 32-point third quarter and finished with 29 points.
O.J. Mayo led Dallas with 15 points.
The Los Angeles Lakers never trailed in beating the Portland Trail Blazers 104-87, notching their sixth win in seven games.
Dwight Howard had 21 points and 14 rebounds and Kobe Bryant scored 27 points for the Lakers, who closed out their 2012 schedule by climbing back to .500 (15-15) in their rocky season.
Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points before sitting out the final minutes with a bruised chest.
The Indiana Pacers downed the Phoenix Suns 97-91, with George Hill scoring 22 points, including three 3-pointers.
Paul George had 15 points for the Pacers, who have won four straight.
Sebastian Telfair had 19 points and six assists for the Suns, who have lost four in a row.
The Atlanta Hawks scored the final nine points to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-94, with Jeff Teague scoring a career-high 27 points.
Brooklyn’s new coach P.J. Carlesimo took a win on debut as the Nets won 97-81, inflicting a 17th straight loss on the Charlotte Bobcats. Brook Lopez had 26 points and 11 rebounds for Brooklyn.
Also on Saturday, the Washington Wizards beat the Orlando Magic 105-97 and the Toronto Raptors downed the New Orleans Bobcats 104-97.