War­riors down Griz­zlies, regis­ter eighth straight win

Toronto main­tain grip on Eastern Con­fer­ence stand­ings with win over Utah

Gulf Times Sport - - FRONT PAGE -

Klay Thomp­son scored 27 points as the Golden State War­riors stretched their win­ning streak to eight games with a 117-101 vic­tory over the Mem­phis Griz­zlies on Mon­day.

Thomp­son was one of five War­riors play­ers in dou­ble-dig­its as the NBA cham­pi­ons over­came a slug­gish start to wrap up a com­fort­able vic­tory at Or­a­cle Arena.

Af­ter an evenly con­tested first half fin­ished at 58-58, the War­riors pro­duced a breath­less burst of scor­ing in the third quar­ter to pull clear.

They outscored the Griz­zlies by 34 points to 15 in the third, ef­fec­tively killing off the game go­ing into the fourth.

The vic­tory leaves the War­riors on top of the Western Con­fer­ence with a 10-1 record.

Kevin Du­rant had 22 points for the War­riors while Stephen Curry had 19.

In Den­ver, the Nuggets main­tained their hot streak with Ja­mal Murray scor­ing 48 points in a 115-107 win over the Bos­ton Celtics.

Point guard Murray drained five three­p­oint­ers in his points haul while lay­ing

on four as­sists and haul­ing down five re­bounds.

The vic­tory saw Den­ver im­prove to 9-1 to keep pace with the War­riors in the West.

Bos­ton’s scor­ing was led by Kyrie Irv­ing with 31 points while Jaylen Brown and Jayson Ta­tum chipped in with 15 points apiece.

Irv­ing mean­while was in­censed by Murray’s late at­tempt at a three-pointer as the clock ran out in the fourth quar­ter, grab­bing the ball and hurl­ing it into the stands in dis­gust at the 21-year-old’s per­ceived lack of re­spect.

“The ball de­serves to go in the crowd af­ter a move like that,” Irv­ing said. “So I threw it in the crowd.”

‘NO DIS­RE­SPECT’

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone de­nied Murray had been show­ing dis­re­spect to the Celtics.

“He’s young, he’s still learn­ing,”

Malone said.

“You never want to dis­re­spect any­one. I think it wasn’t dis­re­spect; he was try­ing to get to 50 points, which you un­der­stand. But our vet­er­ans talked to him, and it’s some­thing he’ll learn from.”

The Toronto Rap­tors main­tained their grip on the Eastern Con­fer­ence stand­ings with a 115-107 win over the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City.

Rap­tors point guard Kyle Lowry was the stand­out per­former for the vis­i­tors with 17 points, seven re­bounds and 11 as­sists. Toronto star Kawhi Leonard did not play af­ter fail­ing to re­cover fully from a foot in­jury.

The Ok­la­homa City Thun­der mean­while notched their fifth con­sec­u­tive win at home with a vic­tory over the New Or­leans Pel­i­cans but suf­fered an in­jury scare to star Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook needed to be helped off court af­ter sprain­ing an­kle in the Thun­der’s 122-116 vic­tory.

The 2017 NBA MVP gri­maced in pain af­ter rolling over on his an­kle as he landed on Pel­i­cans player Anthony Davis’s foot af­ter go­ing up for a re­bound in the third quar­ter.

Westbrook at­tempted to get up and hob­ble off on his own but even­tu­ally needed as­sis­tance as he limped straight to the locker room. The Thun­der later said Westbrook ap­peared to have suf­fered a sprained left an­kle.

Westbrook has only re­cently re­turned to ac­tion af­ter miss­ing the first two games of the sea­son fol­low­ing knee surgery.

The 29-year-old, who has av­er­aged a triple-dou­ble for the past two sea­sons, had scored 17 points when he left the game, with seven re­bounds and nine as­sists.

Ok­la­homa City re­cov­ered from the loss of their tal­is­man to se­cure their fifth straight vic­tory and im­prove to 5-4 for the sea­son.

Paul Ge­orge scored 23 points and Den­nis Schroder weighed in with 22 off the bench as the Thun­der hung on for the vic­tory. New Zealan­der Steven Adams had 18 points.

The Pel­i­cans fell to 4-6 af­ter the loss, with Julius Ran­dle lead­ing the scor­ers with 26 points.

(USA TO­DAY Sports)

Golden State War­riors’ Klay Thomp­son (right) shoots the bas­ket­ball against Mem­phis Griz­zlies’ Mike Con­ley dur­ing the game in Oak­land on Mon­day.

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