NBA: Stephen Curry scores career-high 62 points, Warriors beat Blazers; Wizards edge Nets
Stephen Curry had the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season, finishing 18 for 31 and 8 of 16 on 3-pointers after beginning with a 21-point first quarter.
San Francisco: Stephen Curry let it fly from way out under pressure with a minute-plus left for another perfect swish on the way to a career-high 62 points, and the Golden State Warriors beat Portland 137-122 on Sunday night to split the two-game set with the Trail Blazers.
Curry had the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season, finishing 18 for 31 and 8 of 16 on 3-pointers after beginning with a 21-point first quarter. He had his 10th career 30-point half to help the Warriors take a 66-54 at the break.
SPLASH. SPLASH. 💦💦
The finishing touches on Steph's CAREER night. pic.twitter.com/8xcQd4Gnlo
— NBA (@NBA) January 4, 2021
Stephen Curry joins Klay Thompson as the only Warriors to score 55+ Pts in a game over the last 30 seasons ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/CEPbVyMZqi
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 4, 2021
One small blemish in his brilliant night: Curry had his streak of free throws snapped at a franchise-record 80 in the first. The run dated to 29 March, 2019, vs. Memphis.
Against Portland, he made a career-high 18 on 19 attempts.
Damian Lillard scored 32 points for Portland, and CJ McCollum added 28. McCollum shot 2 for 8 from deep after his 25 3-pointers over the initial five games left him and Curry as the only players to ever do so.
After Portland's 25-point win Friday night, the Warriors were embarrassed and determined to be more aggressive and defend better after the Blazers came out firing to finish 20 of 43 from deep — and they looked more energetic on the defensive end. Portland shot 14 of 43 on 3s Sunday.
LAKERS 108, GRIZZLIES 94
Memphis: LeBron James had 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, Anthony Davis added 17 points and nine rebounds and Los Angeles opened a two-game set in Memphis with a victory.
James played within the offense for the first three quarters, then became more aggressive to start the fourth, scoring the Lakers first 10 points of the period. His 3-pointer with 2:34 left made it 101-90.
Montrezl Harrell added 16 points and nine rebounds to help the Lakers win their third straight.
Kyle Anderson led Memphis with 18 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Tyus Jones also had 14 points, and rookie Desmond Bane had 13.
The Lakers led 56-54 at the break after both teams held advantages of at least nine points in the first half. Los Angeles took a 77-75 lead into the fourth.
The teams will meet again Tuesday night.
CLIPPERS 112, SUNS 107
Phoenix: Paul George scored 39 points and Los Angeles held on to beat Phoenix after nearly blowing a 31-point lead in a matchup of two of the Western Conference's top early season teams.
At 5-2, the Clippers are tied with the Suns and Los Angeles Lakers for the West lead.
George was 7 of 10 from 3-point range and Los Angeles was 17 of 29 overall. Kawhi Leonard added 15 points, but shot 4 of 21 from the field, and Luke Kennard came off the bench to add 14 points.
Devin Booker led Phoenix with 25 points, and Deandre Ayton added 24. Chris Paul, who played six seasons for the Clippers, had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
They had won four in a row and 13 of 14 dating to their perfect run in the NBA bubble.
CELTICS 122, PISTONS 120
Detroit: Jayson Tatum hit a fallaway as Blake Griffin stumbled with 2.9 seconds left, then tied up the Detroit veteran on the other end to help Boston beat the Pistons for a weekend split.
Jaylen Brown led Boston with 31 points. He hit a late 3-pointer and was 13 of 16 from the field, two nights after his late miss sealed a loss in the opener in Detroit. Tatum had 24 points and 12 assists.
Jerami Grant scored 22 points for the Pistons, his career-best fifth straight game with at least 20.
On Friday night, Detroit beat Boston 96-93 for its only victory of the season.
WIZARDS 123, NETS 122
Beal finds Thomas Bryant for the go-ahead bucket! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/XTd7WSeRQh
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 4, 2021
New York: Bradley Beal had 27 points, 10 rebounds and the assist on Thomas Bryant's go-ahead dunk with 14.9 seconds left, leading Washington past Brooklyn.
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant missed jumpers on the last possession, dropping the Nets to 3-4.
Russell Westbrook had 24 points and 10 assists but only five rebounds after recording triple-doubles in his first four games with the Wizards. Bryant finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds to help Washington win its second straight after an 0-5 start.
Irving had 30 points and 10 assists, and Durant had 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
NUGGETS 124, TIMBERWOLVES 109
Minneapolis: Jamal Murray scored a season-high 36 points, Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season and Denver beat Minnesota.
Murray scored 26 points in the first half, including 16 in the second quarter.
Malik Beasley, the former Denver draft pick traded to the Timberwolves last season, scored a season-high 25 for Minnesota.
The teams will complete home-and home set Tuesday night in Denver.
JAZZ 130, SPURS 109
San Antonio: Bojan Bogdanovic scored 28 points and Utah made a season-high 21 3-pointers to beat San Antonio.
Donovan Mitchell added 22 points and nine assists in 29 minutes. Utah was 21 for 41 on 3-pointers compared to 6 for 19 by San Antonio.
Keldon Johnson had 22 points for the Spurs. San Antonio suffered its fourth straight loss as well as its largest margin of defeat.
BULLS 118, MAVERICKS 108
Chicago: Zach LaVine had 39 points and Coby White scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half to lead Chicago past Dallas.
Jalen Brunson, starting in place of the injured Luka Doncic, had 31 points for the Mavericks. Doncic sat out because of a left quadriceps contusion. He was injured Friday night in the second quarter of a home victory over Miami.
Otto Porter Jr. added 15 for the Bulls.
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Irving practiced with the Nets on Tuesday and coach Steve Nash said he expect him to play when Brooklyn visits Cleveland on Wednesday.
The NBA said the Grizzlies next three games — against Portland on Friday and Sunday and against Sacramento on Monday — had been called off in order to comply with league safety protocols.
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DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, Dejounte Murray had 18 points and 10 rebounds and San Antonio Spurs beat Houston Rockets to snap a four-game home losing streak.