War­riors bounce back, Six­ers stay un­beaten

The Korea Times - - SPORTS -

LOS AN­GE­LES (AFP) — Stephen Curry scored 26 points and Dray­mond Green bagged a triple dou­ble as the Golden State War­riors bounced back from suc­ces­sive thrash­ings to down the New Or­leans Pel­i­cans on Mon­day.

The reign­ing Western Con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons, routed 120-92 by Ok­la­homa City on Sun­day, re­dis­cov­ered their scor­ing touch to claim a 134-123 win at the Smoothie King Cen­ter.

After tooth­less dis­plays against Ok­la­homa City and the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers, the War­riors re­dis­cov­ered their of­fense in a high-scor­ing first half.

A 45-point sec­ond quar­ter saw them surge into a 72-55 lead at half­time, giv­ing them a com­fort­able 17-point cush­ion.

An­other big third quar­ter ex­tended their lead to 24 points head­ing into the fi­nal period, and although the Pel­i­cans closed the gap, the re­sult was never se­ri­ously in ques­tion.

All five starters fin­ished in dou­ble-dig­its for the War­riors, with Curry lead­ing the scor­ers and con­tribut­ing 11 as­sists.

Green’s triple-dou­ble in­cluded 16 points, 17 re­bounds and 10 as­sists, while new re­cruit D’An­gelo Rus­sell fin­ished with 24 points, seven re­bounds and eight as­sists. Damion Lee added 23 points from the bench.

Af­ter­wards Green said the War­riors had been de­ter­mined to raise their game after the de­ba­cles against the Thun­der and the Clip­pers.

“We’ve just been talk­ing about com­pet­ing at an NBA level,” Green said.

“First cou­ple of nights we didn’t com­pete at a level of an NBA game. But the guys got fired up and came out and played with some en­ergy and the re­sult was dif­fer­ent for us.”

‘Bet­ter and bet­ter’

With Kevin Du­rant join­ing the Brook­lyn Nets this year and Klay Thomp­son in­jured and likely out for the sea­son, Green said he felt du­ty­bound to lead the War­riors youth­ful new-look squad.

“We’ll get bet­ter and bet­ter as we get more ex­pe­ri­ence,” Green said.

“Un­for­tu­nately that’s the one thing you can’t make up for but if we com­pete like we com­peted tonight, we can live with the re­sults. If you don’t com­pete you just can’t live with that.

“I have to be (a leader). The first two nights I wasn’t at all. My en­ergy was worse than ev­ery­body’s elses. And if I want us to have a suc­cess­ful year and teach these guys how to be suc­cess­ful I have to bring that en­ergy.”

In Los An­ge­les, the Clip­pers im­proved to 3-1 with a com­fort­able 111-96 de­feat of the Char­lotte Hor­nets.

Kawhi Leonard de­liv­ered a 30-point per­for­mance in the win, with Lou Wil­liams scor­ing 23 from the bench.

In Hous­ton, James Har­den ex­ploded for 40 points as the Rock­ets out­gunned Ok­la­homa City 116-112.

Har­den added three re­bounds and seven as­sists while point guard Rus­sell West­brook nar­rowly missed out on a triple-dou­ble with 21 points, 12 re­bounds and nine as­sists.

Har­den later saluted West­brook’s con­tri­bu­tion to the Rock­ets of­fense.

“He just brings a dif­fer­ent el­e­ment to the game,” Har­den said. “His speed, his pace, his ath­leti­cism, his play­mak­ing.

“He does so much and cre­ates for his team­mates and it’s tough to guard.”

The Philadel­phia 76ers re­main the only un­beaten team in the East­ern Con­fer­ence after claim­ing their third win of the sea­son on the road against the At­lanta Hawks on Mon­day.

Fit-again Cameroon in­ter­na­tional Joel Em­biid starred for the Six­ers, lead­ing with 36 points in­clud­ing two game-win­ning free throws with 5.3 sec­onds on the clock to seal a 105103 win.

In Toronto, the NBA cham­pion Rap­tors im­proved to 3-1 for the sea­son with a 104-95 de­feat of the Or­lando Magic.

Kyle Lowry had 26 points and Pas­cal Si­akam 24 points as the Rap­tors kept Or­lando in check.

The San An­to­nio Spurs re­main un­beaten in the Western Con­fer­ence after notch­ing a third win of the sea­son against the Port­land Trail Blaz­ers.

DeMar DeRozan had 27 points for the Spurs, who edged a 113-110 vic­tory over the vis­it­ing Blaz­ers. Damian Lil­lard led the scor­ing with 28 points while team­mate C.J. McCol­lum fin­ished with 27.

AP-Yon­hap

Golden State War­riors for­ward Omari Spell­man, right, bat­tles un­der the bas­ket with New Or­leans Pel­i­cans guard Frank Jack­son in the sec­ond half of an NBA bas­ket­ball game in New Or­leans, Mon­day.

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