Los Angeles (AFP) - Kawhi Leonard won an epic duel with James Harden as the San Antonio Spurs downed the Houston Rockets 112-110 in a thrilling NBA battle on Monday.
Leonard and Harden, two of the most in-form players in the league, both finished with identical tallies of 39 points after a pulsating shootout between the Texas rivals in San Antonio.
It was Leonard who ultimately settled the contest for San Antonio after Harden's free throw with 39 seconds left gave the Rockets a 108-107 lead.
A Leonard three-pointer from above the top of the key put the Spurs 110-108 ahead before two more free throws with 14.5sec remaining sealed a dramatic win despite Nene's dunk for the Rockets.
The win was an eighth straight victory for San Antonio, who improved to 49-13, three games behind Western Conference leaders Golden State.
Leonard's points haul was his 23rd 30-point game of the season.
Tony Parker added 19 points while LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points for the Spurs.
Harden, meanwhile, also had 12 assists in his league-leading 50th double-double of the season.
Houston are third in the Western Conference standings at 44-20.
Elsewhere on Monday, the Minnesota Timberwolves' game with the Portland Trail Blazers saw a rare postponement after unusually warm weather created a build-up of condensation inside the Wolves Target Center home.
The condensation made for slippery conditions above the home court - which is based above an ice rink - leaving officials little choice but to postpone the game.
"I want to apologize to our fans, and certainly to the Trail Blazers," Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said.
"But certainly, the safety of the players has to come first. It's unfortunate, but it's the right thing to do."