NBA roundup: Stephen Curry gifts Golden State Warriors win on birthday, Cleveland Cavaliers victorious
Some merciless shooting from Stephen Curry saw the Warriors home in a nail-biting 106-104 victory that saw them improve to 53-14.
Stephen Curry scored 29 points on his 29th birthday as the Golden State Warriors staged a fourth quarter rally to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers and halt their three-game losing streak on Tuesday.
The Warriors looked to be heading for a shock defeat at the Oracle Arena after the hapless Sixers led by 12 points at the end of the third quarter.
But a defiant defensive performance from Warriors stalwart Draymond Green and some merciless shooting from Curry saw the Warriors home in a nail-biting 106-104 victory that saw them improve to 53-14.
As well as his 29-point haul, Curry had six rebounds and four assists.
Green, meanwhile, scored 20 points and snared eight rebounds and eight assists in a crucial performance that also included six blocks.
The Sixers, who fell to 24-43 with the defeat, saw Dario Saric top score with 25 points while Jahlil Okafor added 22 points.
Curry was relieved to have drawn a line under the Warriors recent run of poor form.
"It's been a rough week obviously. Every NBA team goes through it at some point, we just gotta keep fighting," Curry said.
"Draymond said something in a timeout in the first quarter that we needed to get our flow back. And it might not be pretty but that was accurate to say the least how the game went tonight."
Curry also praised Green's fourth quarter performance which helped the Warriors get over the line. "Fourth quarter what Draymond did was amazing," Curry said.
"We've just gotta fight through. Tonight we battled through it," added Curry, brushing off talk about his own recent dip in form.
"I don't pay attention to slump talk," he said. "I know that the shots haven't been falling. You've just got to fight through it and shoot your way back to the level I'm used to."
Triples for LeBron, Westbrook
Elsewhere on Tuesday, there were easy wins for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, with both LeBron James and Russell Westbrook notching triple doubles for their respective teams.
James, 32, constructed his 10th triple-double of the season in the Cavs 128-96 blowout over the Detroit Pistons. The Cavaliers star — who has now notched four triple-doubles in March alone — finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. It was the latest evidence that James is switching into playoff mode as he has done consistently when the business end of the season comes into view.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue however insisted James' form had been solid for months.
"He hasn't done anything different," Lue said. "He's almost averaging a triple-double. I think he's averaging 26 (points), nine (assists), and eight (rebounds). That's almost a triple-double every single night," Lue said.
Westbrook meanwhile was given a standing ovation by an appreciative New York crowd at the Barclays Center as the Thunder romped past the Brooklyn Nets 122-104.
The crowd saluted Westbrook after he completed his 33rd triple-double of the season, leaving him eight shy of Oscar Robertson's all-time record of 41.
Westbrook, who finished with 25 points, 19 assists and 12 rebounds, later admitted he had been taken aback by the warmth of his reception.
"They were loud. I thought something happened," Westbrook said. "I was wondering why they were screaming so loud. I thought they were giving something out in the crowd or something."
This much is known: Ben Simmons is back in Philadelphia. But there’s no clear sign yet the All-Star guard is set to rescind his trade request and actually play for the 76ers.
“I just thought he was a distraction today,” coach Doc Rivers said on Tuesday after practice. “I didn't think he wanted to do what everybody else was doing. I just told him he should leave. We went on with practice.”
Brooklyn, Philadelphia finished ahead of Milwaukee in the regular season, but the Bucks ousted the Nets in the second round and went on to win their first NBA title in 50 years.