Warriors defeat Knicks with teamwork
The Golden State Warriors passed circles around the New York Knicks on Thursday night, assisting on their first 36 baskets over 35 minutes in a 103-90 victory over the undermanned Eastern Conference squad. Klay Thompson had a game-high 25 points and JaVale McGee dropped in 17 in a rare start, helping Golden State improve to 7-0 against Eastern teams this season with a fifth straight win over the Knicks. The 41 total assists gave Golden State (234) at least 30 in 19 of their 27 games this season. No other NBA team has reached 30 more than four times. The Warriors topped 40 assists three times this season, becoming the first team to do so since the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls. Kevin Durant (eight), Stephen Curry (eight) and Draymond Green (seven) led the assist barrage against the Knicks team that was without Carmelo Anthony (bruised right shoulder) and Derrick Rose (sore lower back). Durant nearly recorded a triple-double with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds to go with his eight assists.
SPURS 107, SUNS 92
Kawhi Leonard and Pau Gasol scored 18 points apiece and San Antonio used a 21-3 run in the fourth quarter to put away Phoenix. LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Spurs, who won 14 of 15 road games this season and three in a row overall. San Antonio hadn’t played on the road since taking its only loss, 95-91 at the Chicago Bulls on Dec. 8. Leonard and Gasol grabbed 10 and nine rebounds, respectively. Devin Booker had 17 points and Eric Bledsoe added 14 for the Suns, who hung with the Spurs for three quarters before falling victim to the decisive run.
NUGGETS 132, TRAIL BLAZERS 120
Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points, Gary Harris added 18 in his return and Denver took a big lead early and went on to beat Portland. Wilson Chandler had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Nuggets, who snapped a five-game losing streak against the Trail Blazers. Portland won 13 of the previous 14 against Denver but were never in this one. The Nuggets’ only win in that stretch was Nov. 9, 2015 in Denver. They held an eight-point lead late in their home opener this year only to see the Trail Blazers rally and win in overtime. Damian Lillard led Portland with 40 points and 10 assists. CJ McCollum scored 23 and Mason Plumlee had 19 points and seven rebounds. The Trail Blazers lost for the fourth time in five games.
BUCKS 108, BULLS 97
Matthew Dellavedova drained a 3-pointer that restored a double-digit lead with 1:34 left as Milwaukee held off a late charge by Chicago. Making a rare appearance in front of a national television audience, the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker put on a show. They combined to hit 24 of 46 shots and sink five 3-pointers to finish with 30 and 28 points, respectively. Antetokounmpo added 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Parker grabbed five boards and dished out three assists. The Bulls’ Taj Gibson scored 17 of his 19 in the first half while Jimmy Butler added 10 before the break and finished with a team-leading 21. Dwyane Wade scored 16 of his 20 in the second half.
PELICANS 102, PACERS 95
Anthony Davis scored a game-high 35 points and rookie Buddy Hield had a season-high 21 as New Orleans defeated Indiana. Hield made a season-high five 3-pointers, all in the second half, Jrue Holiday added 16 points and Terrence Jones had 10 points off the bench for the Pelicans, who finished the game on a 17-5 run. Myles Turner led the Pacers with 26 points, Jeff Teague scored 21, Paul George had 18 and Al Jefferson scored 14 off the bench. — Reuters
OAKLAND: Joakim Noah #13 of the New York Knicks goes up for a shot on JaVale McGee #1 of the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on Thursday in Oakland, California. —AFP