NBA: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant lift Warriors over Clippers in thriller; Lakers slump to defeat while Celtics beat Hornets
The Golden State Warriors won thanks to Steph Curry's game winner. Minnesota Timberwolves grabbed victory after Paul George missed a last-ditch three-pointer. Boston Celtics won, the Los Angeles Lakers lost. All the action from a gripping day in the NBA:
Stephen Curry scored the last of his 42 points on a driving layup with a half-second remaining on Monday and reigning NBA champion Golden State edged the Los Angeles Clippers 129-127.
Kevin Durant added 35 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors (23-11), who won for the eighth time in 10 games despite the Clippers hitting 18-of-23 three-point attempts.
Curry did not play when the Clippers beat the Warriors in overtime earlier this season but the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player lifted Golden State on his shoulders in the rematch and closed out the victory with his dramatic winning shot.
"Just got to make a play and not rush and beat them downhill and I made the play," Curry said. "It was a great way to finish."
The Warriors are 15-3 at home but have stumbled early and are in a fight for the Western Conference lead.
"Teams get hot and we have some slip-ups," Curry said. "We just have to figure out how to weather the storm and get the win."
Durant was powerful defensively, blocking three shots, and all his rebounds came on the defensive end.
"We buckled down in the third and fourth quarter and it was good to make them have to make some tough shots," Durant said.
"Steph got it going. We wanted to keep feeding him and make it easy for us. The last play was phenomenal."
Durant said being tested early will toughen the Warriors for games later in the season as they chase a fourth NBA crown in five seasons.
"I like the groove we're in," Durant said. "We've won some tight games. That experience of playing in some tight games. That's going to help us down the stretch."
Paul George's missed last-ditch shot leads Minnesota to victory
In another dramatic finish, Oklahoma City's Paul George missed a three-point shot at the buzzer and Minnesota held off the Thunder to win 114-112.
Andrew Wiggins scored 30 points to lead the Timberwolves while George had a game-high 31 points and 11 rebounds.
Russell Westbrook had a triple double in a losing cause with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Celtics win, Lakers lose
Kyrie Irving scored 25 points to lead the Boston Celtics over visiting Charlotte 119-103 while Tyler Johnson scored 20 of his 25 points in the third quarter of Miami's 115-91 win at Orlando.
Jaren Jackson scored a game-high 27 points to lead visiting Memphis over the Los Angeles Lakers 107-99 despite 22 points, a game-high 14 rebounds and seven assists by LeBron James.
Bahamas big man Deandre Ayton, the top pick in June's NBA Draft by Phoenix, scored 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in a losing cause as Brooklyn ripped the visiting Suns 111-103.
Damian Lillard scored a game-high 33 points to lead Portland over Dallas 121-118 in overtime. Luka Doncic, a 19-year-old Slovenian rookie forward, sank a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull Dallas level at 107-107 and force overtime.
Finnish forward Lauri Markkanen scored 31 points, hitting 5-of-10 three-point shots, to lead the Chicago Bulls over host Cleveland 112-92.
Sacramento's Buddy Hield scored 28 points while Willie Cauley-Stein added 22 points and a career-high 17 rebounds as the Sacramento Kings rallied from 11 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat visiting New Orleans 122-117.
Myles Turner had 18 points and 17 rebounds for Indiana in a 105-89 victory over visiting Washington while Vince Carter led six Atlanta double-digit scorers with 18 points and Alex Len grabbed 17 rebounds to lift the Hawks over Detroit 98-95.
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Brown had worked with the Australian men’s team in the 1990s and early 2000s and again from 2009-12 before joining 76ers. He was hired again in November last year on a short-term basis for the Olympic assignment after Andrej Lemanis quit, and had been expected to do work with the Boomers during the NBA break.
Morey departed of his own choice after guiding the Rockets basketball operations since the 2007-2008 season, making the decision after the Rockets were beaten in the second round of the NBA playoffs in the Covid-19 quarantine bubble in Orlando.
NBA: China state broadcaster CCTV hints Houston Rockets executive Daryl Morey 'paid price' for Hong Kong tweet
CCTV suspended NBA broadcasts last October after Morey tweeted "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong", referring to protests Beijing calls separatist and seditious.