The Golden State Warriors on Friday produced a dynamic offensive display in a 133-112 wire-to-wire victory over the Orlando Magic in Florida.
The banged-up Warriors, with Stephen Curry still nursing a painful bruised finger, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson battling troublesome ankles and David West suffering from a sore left knee, nevertheless proved more than a match for the Magic.
Coming off a lethargic overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Golden State answered the call of coach Steve Kerr to play with energy and purpose.
The result was a 78-63 point Warriors lead at halftime — Golden State’s highest-scoring half this season.
Their 46 assists were the most in the NBA this season and one shy of the franchise record.
“This is a good step in the right direction,” Kerr said.
Thompson led the way with 27 points. Durant connected on 10 of his 14 shots en route to 25 points before he was ejected for swearing at a referee over a foul call on his final basket.
Durant was clearly miffed at being tossed.
“The refs run the game, so if they’re not feeling good today, they can just make any decision they want,” Durant said. “So I’ve got to know that they’ve got all the power and I’ve got to just shut up and take it.”
Curry, again playing with his right ring finger bandaged, had 23 points and 10 assists as the Warriors seized control early and thwarted every Magic effort to rally.
“The way we played tonight was Warriors-like basketball,” Curry said. “We wanted to get back to that and not get bogged down and stagnate on offense. Everybody was involved.”
SPURS 95, GRIZZLIES 79
The San Antonio Spurs, chasing the Houston Rockets and the Warriors in the Western Conference, handed the Memphis Grizzlies their 10th straight defeat 95-79.
The Grizzlies’ skid is the longest in the NBA this season.
After beating the Grizzlies 104-95 in San Antonio on Wednesday, the Spurs piled on the misery in Memphis.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 points and Rudy Gay added 18 for a Spurs team that pulled away in the fourth quarter and led by as many as 28 points down the stretch.
THUNDER 111, TIMBERWOLVES 107
In Oklahoma City, the Thunder again nearly let a sizeable second-half lead slip away before Paul George’s two free-throws with 5.2 seconds left sealed a 111-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
George had 36 points and Oklahoma City center Steven Adams of New Zealand added a career-high 27 on perfect 11-of-11 shooting as the Thunder snapped a three-game losing streak.
Russell Westbrook scored 15 points and fell just shy of a triple-double with 14 assists and nine rebounds.
“Obviously it wasn’t a perfect game, we’ve still got a lot to work on, but we needed this win, so we’ve got to be happy with it,” Adams said.
In Friday’s other games, it was:
‧ Wizards 109, Pistons 91
‧ Raptors 120, Pacers 115
‧ Kings 107, Bulls 106
‧ Heat 105, Hornets 100
‧ Jazz 114, Pelicans 108
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on