Mon, Jan 01, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Curry dazzles in return for Warriors

BIRTHDAY LOSS:LeBron did not get the gift he wanted, but he did get to appreciate Donovan Mitchell’s stunning performance, leading the Jazz to thwart a Cavs comeback

AFP, LOS ANGELES

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry holds on to his daughter Riley while signing autographs on Saturday before playing the Memphis Grizzlies in Oakland, California.

Photo: AP

Stephen Curry spiced things up with 10 three-pointers and 38 points on Saturday as he returned from an injury to propel the Golden State Warriors to a 141-128 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Sidelined for 11 games with a sprained right ankle, the two-time NBA MVP was electrifying in his return.

His 10 three-pointers — in just 26 minutes on the court — surpassed Portland guard Damian Lillard’s nine as the most by any player in a game this season.

The Warriors were a more-than-respectable 9-2 in Curry’s absence, but with him back on the court, their prolific offense was in full flow.

Klay Thompson added 21 points, Kevin Durant scored 20 and Zaza Pachulia added 13 as the Warriors shook off the second-quarter ejection of Draymond Green, who received two technical fouls for arguing foul calls.

“Our flow as a team from the beginning was amazing,” said Curry, who nailed a layup off an assist from Green in his second minute back.

A minute later he drained a three-pointer as the Warriors raced to a 10-0 lead just 2 minutes and 8 seconds into the contest.

This was Curry’s ninth career game with 10 or more from beyond the arc.

Curry said the Warriors, who improved to 29-8, are perfectly positioned heading into the new year.

“I think we’re right were we want to be,” he said. “Best record in the league. We’ve shown we can win a lot of different ways.”

Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 27 points, one of six Memphis players to score in double figures.

However, the Grizzlies lost for the 13th time in 17 games since sacking coach David Fizdale on Nov. 27.

JAZZ 104, CAVALIERS 101

In Salt Lake City, Utah, rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points to lead the Jazz to a 104-101 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers — denying LeBron James the victory he wanted for his 33rd birthday.

Mitchell slashed his way past James for a layup with 35.4 seconds remaining as the Jazz thwarted a Cleveland comeback bid that saw the Cavs pull within one point three times in the fourth quarter after trailing by double digits in the third.

“I’m just treating the last two minutes as if it’s the same as the first two,” Mitchell said. “You’ve just got to go out there. If you over-think it, that’s the first mistake right there.”

Late free throws from Thabo Sefolosha and Derrick Favors finally sealed the win for Utah.

James scored 29 points and added eight rebounds, eclipsing 8,000 rebounds in his career.

The four-time NBA MVP was impressed by what he saw from Mitchell.

“Kid’s got a lot of game,” James said. “He’s not afraid of the moment. He just goes out there and plays ball.”

PISTONS 93, SPURS 79

Reggie Bullock’s big night pushed the Detroit Pistons to a 93-79 home victory over perennial Western Conference powerhouse San Antonio.

Bullock, who started in just seven games in his first four NBA seasons and became a regular starter for the Pistons early last month, scored a career-high 22 points.

He was also a key contributor in a strong defensive display by a Pistons team again playing without injured point guard Reggie Jackson and shooting guard Avery Bradley, and with top reserve Stanley Johnson also sidelined.

“I’m just trying to do it all to help my team with players down and it’s working out for me,” Bullock said.

Kawhi Leonard led the San Antonio with 18 points — half of them coming from the foul line. LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 for the Spurs, who scored a season low.

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