Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The top two teams in the Western Conference continued to set the pace on Friday night with home wins.
The Oklahoma City Thunder remain running ahead of the pack in the Western Conference in a tightly contested race among the elite teams.
The Thunder cruised to a 109-85 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night to remain percentage points ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers in the West. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 27 points and five assists while Kevin Durant added 26 points in the winning effort.
The Clippers continued to keep stride with OKC by holding off the Los Angeles Lakers to win 107-102 at Staples Center. Chris Paul outdueled Kobe Bryant to lead the Clippers to victory with 30 points and 13 assists. Bryant added to his league leading scoring average by pumping in 38 points for the Lakers.
In other Northwest Division action on Friday, the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, 101-97. On Friday night, the Utah Jazz beat the Phoenix Suns 87-80 as Al Jefferson scored 21 points for the Jazz.
In games of note in the Eastern Conference, the short-handed Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat 96-89 thanks to Carlos Boozer scoring 27 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Also, the Boston Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak by pounding the Indiana Pacers, 94-75.
Here's a look at the full NBA scoreboard.