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Suns eclipse Nuggets; Rockets silence Thunder

LOS ANGELES – Kevin Durant scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 104-97 victory over reigning NBA champions Denver Nuggets on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) to keep things close at the top of the Western Conference.

The Suns made 16 3-pointers and never trailed after the first quarter in Denver.

Durant said it wasn't a matter of making a statement, but of paying attention to detail in a demanding final playoff push.

"I don't know if you're trying to show anybody anything," Durant said. "I think (we're) just trying to keep getting better... we're just trying to play good ball."

Denver's two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic, playing with a sore back and hip, scored 22 points with nine rebounds and 10 assists.

But the Nuggets clearly felt the absence of point guard Jamal Murray, who missed a third straight game with a sprained left ankle.

It was just their third defeat in their 18 games since the All-Star break, but left them just one half-game ahead of Oklahoma City and Minnesota atop the West.

The Timberwolves beat the Detroit Pistons, 106-91, but the short-handed Thunder fell to the red-hot Houston Rockets — who pushed their winning streak to 10 games with a 132-126 overtime triumph in Oklahoma City.

The Thunder were without star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was sidelined with a right quadriceps contusion.

Josh Giddey carried the load in his absence, scoring 31 points. But Houston's Jalen Green led all scorers with 37 points and the Rockets out-scored the Thunder 20-14 in overtime to seal the win.

Houston remained a game behind the Golden State Warriors for 10th place and the last play-in berth in the West.

The Warriors, fueled by 23 points from Andrew Wiggins and two late baskets by Stephen Curry, beat the Magic, 101-93, in Orlando despite the ejection of Draymond Green just 3:36 into the contest.

Curry was left shaking his head when Green was tossed, receiving two quick technical fouls for heatedly arguing a foul call.

It was the fourth ejection of the season for Green, who missed 16 games after he was suspended in December for swinging an arm into the head of Suns center Jusuf Nurkic.

"Too bad," Warriors