NBA: Warriors fall to Kings after Kevin Durant gets sidelined for two weeks; Raptors edge past Mavericks
Golden State Warriors saw Kevin Durant sidelined for two weeks and their bid to overtake Houston for the NBA's best record falter with a 98-93 loss to Sacramento.
Los Angeles: Defending champions Golden State saw Kevin Durant sidelined for two weeks, Israeli forward Omri Casspi hurt and their bid to overtake Houston for the NBA's best record falter Friday with a 98-93 loss to Sacramento.
Buddy Hield came off the Sacramento bench to score 22 points to lead the Kings against a struggling Warriors squad without Durant and star guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Before the game, Durant was put onto the injured list with a rib cartilage fracture and set for re-evaluation in two weeks.
The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player ranks sixth among all NBA scorers this season with 26.6 points a game. Durant also averages 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.9 blocked shots a game.
Golden State was also without Curry, out with a sore right ankle, and Thompson, sidelined by a broken right thumb. Both will be evaluated next week.
Joining the injury list was reserve Casspi, who sprained his right ankle landing on a rival's foot in the second quarter after playing only six minutes.
Golden State's Quinn Cook scored a career-best 25 points in 40 minutes on the court and Draymond Green added 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
But the Kings (23-47) closed the game on an 11-3 run to capture their first back-to-back wins since late January.
That dropped Golden State to 52-17 and 2 1/2 games behind Western Conference leader Houston for the best record in the NBA.
With injuries nagging them and the Rockets showing no sign of misfiring, the Warriors might not be able to overtake Houston for the overall playoff home-court edge.
"It's a harrowing experience -- I'm just trying to process it all," joked Warriors coach Steve Kerr. "Second in the conference would just be devastating."
Then he turned serious, trying to put the injuries and best-record chase into perspective.
"We're not really paying too much attention to the standings. We are just playing," Kerr said.
"We're in a good position big picture no matter what happens because our injuries are all relatively minor. We're very hopeful and confident that we'll have everybody back when it counts."
That means when the playoffs start April 14.
Raptors outlast Dallas
The Warriors' loss left the level for second overall in the NBA with the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors, who matched the all-time best team win streak by winning their 11th game in a row, downing Dallas 122-115 in overtime.
The Raptors, who own the NBA's best home record at 29-5, had 29 points from DeMar DeRozan, including a short jump shot with 53.1 seconds left in overtime that put the Raptors up 117-115.
Jonas Valanciunas then made five of six free throws in the waning seconds to seal the victory, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds for Raptors.
"I'm not completely happy, because I see the big picture, but I like the fight," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "I like the way the guys competed."
The Boston Celtics, second to Toronto in the East, downed host Orlando 92-83.
The Magic connected on just 39.1 percent of their shots from the floor and were out-rebounded 55-40. Boston pulled down 16 offensive rebounds and out-scored the Magic in second-chance points 20-8.
Guard Terry Rozier, starting in place of injured Kyrie Irving, and reserve Greg Monroe scored 17 points apiece for the Celtics.
Sixers rip Nets
The Philadelphia 76ers rallied for a 120-116 home victory over Brooklyn, closing with a decisive 7-1 run.
Robert Covington's 3-pointer with 35.9 seconds remaining put the Sixers ahead 116-115 and they wouldn't trail again.
Philadelphia All-Star center Joel Embiid celebrated his 24th birthday with a game-high 24 points and a career-high 19 rebounds.
Sixers' rising Aussie star Ben Simmons finished two rebounds shy of a third straight triple-double with 21 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds along with three steals.
Russell Westbrook posted his fourth successive triple-double to lead host Oklahoma City over the Los Angeles Clippers 121-113, while Goran Dragic scored 30 points to power Miami over the host Los Angeles Lakers 92-91.
The Heat said only that Butler, who scored 22 points in Miami’s restart-opening win over Denver on Saturday, had an excused absence.
The red and white jersey emblazoned with the name Jordan and the number 23 is expected to fetch between $200,000 and $400,000, the auction house said.
Just a day before the NBA restarts in a bubble in Orlando, the league announced that all 344 players have tested negative for COVID-19.