Warriors back to winning ways, beat Suns 106-87
OAKLAND, California (AP) — Golden State ended a rare form lapse and beat Phoenix 106-87 on Saturday, maintaining the Warriors’ three-game lead atop the NBA’s Western Conference.
The Warriors had lost their previous two games — having only lost six other matches all season — but got back to winning ways with a fourth-quarter scoring surge.
Golden State maintained its conference lead over Memphis, which beat Oklahoma City in a tight defensive struggle, and a 5-1/2 game advantage in the Pacific Division ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers, who had a surprisingly comfortable win at defending champion San Antonio.
In the Eastern Conference, Toronto stretched its Atlantic Division lead to a giant 14 games by winning in extra time at Washington, while Atlanta maintained its record winning streak.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry had 25 points and seven assists while Klay Thompson scored 22 points for the Warriors, who started slowly and trailed by 12 points during the second quarter before taking the lead by halftime.
The Warriors put together a 15-2 run midway through the fourth that put the game away.
Markieff Morris had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns.
Toronto gave up a substantial second-half lead but recovered to win in overtime at Washington, beating the Wizards 120-116.
Kyle Lowry scored 23 points and Lou Williams added 19 points for the Raptors, who tied a season high with their sixth straight victory.
Lowry scored seven points in overtime for Toronto, which has won two straight games in which it squandered big second-half leads.
John Wall, battling headaches and a sprained right ankle, took his place and led all scorers with 28 points and had 12 assists.
Los Angeles’ Blake Griffin had 31 points and 13 rebounds as the Clippers rolled to a 105-85 victory at San Antonio that snapped the Spurs’ six-game home winning streak.
Chris Paul had 20 points for the Clippers, who had lost their previous four meeting with the Spurs.
San Antonio went 10 for 30 on 3-pointers and was outrebounded 56-36.
Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points for San Antonio, which went 10 for 30 on 3-point attempts and was outrebounded 56-36.
Memphis extended its run of wins to six by beating Oklahoma City 85-74.
Zach Randolph had 21 points and 18 rebounds, and Marc Gasol added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies.
Kevin Durant, back after missing two games with a sprained big toe, led the Thunder with 15 points.
Milwaukee added to Portland’s form concerns by beating the Trail Blazers 95-88.
Jared Dudley scored 18 points and O.J. Mayo had 17 off the bench for the Bucks, who maintained the form that saw them win at Miami and Orlando before this homecoming.
Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews scored 19 points apiece for the Blazers. The Northwest Division leader has lost eight of 10.
Detroit’s D.J. Augustin had 28 points and 12 assists in the Pistons’ 114-101 win against Houston.
Detroit held off former teammate Josh Smith, who was booed throughout his return to the Palace, just more than a month after the Pistons waived the high-priced forward. He had seven points and seven rebounds, shooting only 3 of 11 from the field.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a season-high 28 for Detroit, which snapped a four-game skid and ended Houston’s four-game winning streak.
James Harden scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half, returning from a bruised knee to help the Rockets nearly rally from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit.
Atlanta’s winning streak reached 19 games with a 91-85 victory over Philadelphia, with Al Horford scoring 23 points, including a tying basket after the 76ers took the lead late in the game.
Dallas sent Orlando to its eighth-straight defeat, beating the Magic 108-93, with Monta Ellis contributing 25 points and 13 assists.
Charlotte’s Cody Zeller scored a career-best 21 points to help the Hornets win 104-86 at Denver.
Cleveland’s LeBron James scored 16 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter to win a stirring duel with rookie Andrew Wiggins, leading the Cavaliers to a 106-90 victory over the Timberwolves in Kevin Love’s first game back in Minnesota since he was traded.
Sacramento ended an eight-game skid by beating Indiana 99-94, with Rudy Gay scoring 31 points.