NBA roundup: Warriors alone atop Western Conference
The Golden State Warriors vented their frustration over a controversial loss in their previous game on the playoff-hopeful Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night, using a 71-point first half to pave the way to a 137-90 blowout in Oakland, Calif.
Stephen Curry (25 points) and Klay Thompson (24) combined for 11 3-pointers, helping the Warriors win a game in which DeMarcus Cousins was ejected in the second quarter for a flagrant foul.
The win, coupled with Denver’s surprising home loss to Washington, pushed the Warriors (52-24) one game ahead of the Nuggets (51-25) atop the Western Conference on the eve of their showdown Tuesday night at Golden State.
The Warriors improved to 18-6 this season in the first game following a loss, which on this occasion was a 131-130 overtime affair Friday night at Minnesota that featured two questionable calls against Golden State in the final five seconds of the extra session.
Wizards 95, Nuggets 90
Troy Brown Jr. scored 24 points, Thomas Bryant had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and Washington dealt Denver a home loss. The Nuggets had won eight of 10 and fell one game behind Golden State for the best record in the Western Conference.
Jabari Parker also had 20 points for Washington, which had lost six of seven. Bradley Beal added 17.
Denver’s Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 14 rebounds before being ejected after receiving two quick technical fouls for arguing a non-foul call with 3:46 remaining. Paul Millsap had 13 points and 16 rebounds.
Clippers 113, Grizzlies 96
Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points with 15 rebounds and Montrezl Harrell added 20 points as Los Angeles moved into a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference with a victory over visiting Memphis.
Lou Williams scored 17 points and JaMychal Green added 15 as the Clippers (47-31) drew even with the Utah Jazz, six games behind the first-place Golden State Warriors, but just two games behind the fourth-place Portland Trail Blazers.
Delon Wright scored 20 points and Chandler Parsons added 17 as the Grizzlies lost for the fourth time in their last six games and for the sixth time in their last nine games. Memphis has already been eliminated from playoff consideration.
Kings 113, Spurs 106
Buddy Hield scored 26 points to lead seven players in double figures as visiting Sacramento clipped San Antonio, completing a three-game sweep of the season series. The Spurs are already guaranteed a spot in the postseason for the 22nd straight season, tying an NBA record.
The Kings trailed 106-105 after San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan hit a jumper with 2:53 to play. Sacramento responded with the final eight points of the game, capped by two free throws by Hield with 16.7 seconds left, to snap a two-game losing streak.
Willie Cauley-Stein added 17 points for the Kings, with Bogdan Bogdanovic and Harrison Barnes scoring 15 each, De’Aaron Fox hitting for 12 points, and Nemanja Bjelica and Yogi Ferrell pumping in 10 points apiece. Kosta Koufos led the Kings with 11 rebounds.
Mavericks 106, Thunder 103
Dwight Powell’s dunk with 21 seconds left gave Dallas the lead for good as it survived a wild win over host Oklahoma City.
Powell took a dish from Jalen Brunson, who hit a go-ahead basket on the Mavericks’ previous possession, and slammed the ball home for the fifth lead change in a frantic final two minutes. Dennis Schroder and Paul George each missed would-be go-ahead 3-pointers on the Thunder’s next trip down the floor.
Trey Burke scored 25 points for the Mavericks, who snapped a two-game losing streak and won for just the fifth time in their last 23 games. Brunson scored 18 points while Devin Harris had 15 points and Dwight Powell added 11 points.
Hawks 136, Bucks 135
Rookie Trae Young hit the game-winning jumper at the buzzer in overtime to give Atlanta a win over visiting Milwaukee. It was the first time Atlanta beat Milwaukee in three tries this season and broke a six-game losing streak to the Bucks.
Milwaukee’s Sterling Brown, who scored a season-high 27, had put the Bucks ahead with 1.1 seconds remaining with a driving basket. That negated the go-ahead bucket that Young had scored with 6.8 seconds remaining on the previous possess.
Atlanta got 24 points from Justin Anderson and 23 points each from John Collins and Alex Len. Anderson and Collins each had 12 rebounds. Young had 12 points and 16 assists. The Bucks were playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo (sprained ankle) and Khris Middleton (sore groin).
Lakers 130, Pelicans 102
JaVale McGee had 23 points and 16 rebounds as visiting Los Angeles routed New Orleans in a matchup of short-handed teams. Los Angeles was playing its first game since announcing Saturday that LeBron James would not play again this season because of a groin injury.
Former Pelican Rajon Rondo added 24 points and 12 assists, Alex Caruso came off the bench to score 23 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 19 points and Reggie Bullock 18 as the Lakers outscored the Pelicans 69-40 in the second half.
Former Laker Julius Randle scored 17 to lead New Orleans, which lost for the 10th time in 12 games. Christian Wood added 15 points and 11 rebounds, Jahlil Okafor scored 15, Solomon Hill had 14 and Cheick Diallo had his ninth double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony Davis (back spasms) was held out by New Orleans.