The Oklahoma City Thunder made it a dozen successive NBA wins with a 100-92 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, led by Kevin Durant’s season-high 41 points and 13 rebounds.
The Los Angeles Clippers are just behind the Thunder in their own winning streak, notching an 11th straight victory, while New York and Memphis were the other leading teams to win.
However, Golden State’s surprising form surge ended in an unlikely locale, putting in a lax defensive performance and suffering an embarrasing defeat at the hands of the lowly Sacramento Kings.
Russell Westbrook scored 27 points — 21 in the first half — and had 11 assists for the Thunder, who matched the longest winning streak for the franchise since the then-Seattle SuperSonics won 14 straight in 1996.
Oklahoma City (21-4) improved the NBA’s best record and atoned for a home loss to the Hawks on Nov. 4.
Jeff Teague scored 19 points to lead Atlanta, who slipped 1.5 games behind Miami in the Southeast Division.
The New York Knicks won their first home game against their relocated city rivals, beating the Brooklyn Nets 100-86 to open a six-game gap atop the Atlantic Division as the Nets form falls away.
Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points in his return from an ankle injury, while J.R. Smith had 19 points for the Knicks, who had two tight tussles on Brooklyn’s home court earlier in the season, but dominated this one.
Joe Johnson scored 17 points for the Nets.
The Southwest Division-leading Memphis Grizzlies won a third straight, beating the misfiring Milwaukee Bucks 90-80.
Zach Randolph had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Marc Gasol had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Memphis.
Brandon Jennings clearly led Milwaukee with 26 points, while leading scorer Monta Ellis missed his first 13 shots and finished with only four.
The Indiana Pacers matched their biggest victory margin of the season with a 104-84 win over the Utah Jazz. Indiana have reached three figures only four times this season and have won them all.
Reserve guard Gerald Green scored a season-high 21 points, and Paul George had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for the Pacers.
Derrick Favors scored 16 points 11 for the Jazz.
Sacramento won their first game in six with a 131-127 victory over Golden State, who slipped 2.5 games off the lead in the Pacific Division.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 24 points and Aaron Brooks added 23 for the Kings, who led the game by 15 points before the Warriors tied the scores.
A pair of late three-pointers by Brooks saw the Kings pull away and post the highest score of any team against the Warriors this season.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry scored 23 of his 32 points in the second half before fouling out.
The Los Angeles Clippers stretched their lead in the Pacific and notched their 11th straight win with a 93-77 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.
Blake Griffin scored 18 points, while Jamal Crawford added 17 points for the Clippers, who matched the franchise’s longest winning streak, previously set in 1974-1975 as the Buffalo Braves.
Robin Lopez scored 14 of his 22 points in the first quarter for the Hornets, who were the last team to beat the Clippers, but suffered their ninth loss in a row.
Boston’s Paul Pierce scored 25 of his season-high 40 points in the second half, hitting 10 of his 11 shots after halftime, as the Celtics beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-91.
Phoenix’s Shannon Brown scored a season-high 26 points and the Suns hit a season-high 17 three-pointers in a 121-104 victory over Charlotte — the Bobcats’ league-worst 13th straight loss.
Also on Wednesday, it was:
‧ Magic 90, Wizards 83
‧ Raptors 97, Pistons 91
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first