Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Golden State wins but worries about Curry

HOUSTON — Stephen Curry sat on the bench with his head in his hands, facing another injury that could derail Golden State's playoff run.

Instead of sulking, the Warriors responded with a huge third quarter to pull away from the Rockets and cruise to a 121-94 victory Sunday that gave them a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

"When you have a team that is as together as ours is and cares about each other like ours does, you tend to pick up the fight a little bit," coach Steve Kerr said. "Our guys sensed that we needed to come together."

Soon after the defending MVP limped to the locker room, the other Splash Brother kept the 3-pointers raining down. Klay Thompson made 4 of 7 3s in the third as the Warriors made a franchise playoff-record eight in that quarter en route to an NBA playoff-record 21.

"Let's not fool ourselves. When you hit the shots we're hitting, things are going to go your way," Golden State's Draymond Green said.

Guard James Harden was disgusted with Houston's play in the third quarter.

"Terrible way, terrible way, terrible way to lose … just a terrible quarter and that's what gave the game away," Harden said.

Curry returned after missing two games with a sprained right ankle but did not play in the second half after spraining his right knee on the final play of the second quarter. He's scheduled to have an MRI exam today.

Golden State used a 41-point third quarter to take control of the game. The Warriors bested the NBA record they shared for 3s in a playoff game — set last year against these Rockets — when Brandon Rush made one from the top of the key with about 21/2 minutes left.

"I was trying to raise our level of intensity," said Thompson, who finished with 23 points. "When you play with emotion and play for your teammates, you can really get going. If we have that same emotion and intensity on Wednesday, we should be successful."

Warriors 121, Rockets 94

GOLDEN STATE (121): Barnes 4-11 2-2 12, Green 7-12 0-2 18, Bogut 3-4 0-0 6, Curry 2-9 1-1 6, Thompson 8-15 0-0 23, Iguodala 9-11 1-4 22, Clark 2-2 0-0 5, McAdoo 0-2 0-2 0, Speights 2-5 2-2 7, Livingston 4-8 1-1 9, Ezeli 1-2 1-2 3, Rush 1-2 0-0 3, Barbosa 3-6 0-0 7. Totals 46-89 8-16 121.

HOUSTON (94): Ariza 3-11 2-3 8, Motiejunas 3-6 1-4 8, Howard 7-9 5-13 19, Beverley 1-5 0-0 2, Harden 4-13 8-10 18, Beasley 6-12 4-4 17, Terry 4-7 0-0 9, Capela 0-1 1-2 1, Brewer 4-10 2-2 10, McDaniels 0-2 0-0 0, Harrell 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 33-78 23-38 94.

Golden State 29 27 41 24— 121

Houston 29 27 20 18— 94

3-Point Goals—Golden State 21-40 (Thompson 7-11, Green 4-6, Iguodala 3-4, Barnes 2-5, Clark 1-1, Barbosa 1-2, Rush 1-2, Speights 1-2, Curry 1-7), Houston 5-27 (Harden 2-8, Beasley 1-2, Motiejunas 1-3, Terry 1-3, McDaniels 0-1, Brewer 0-3, Beverley 0-3, Ariza 0-4). Fouled Out—Bogut. Rebounds—Golden State 55 (Green 8), Houston 56 (Howard 15). Assists—Golden State 38 (Livingston 9), Houston 18 (Harden 10). Total Fouls—Golden State 26, Houston 20. Technicals—Livingston, Howard. A—18,200 (18,023).

SPURS 116, GRIZZLIES 95: The Spurs have swept their way into the Western Conference semifinals after an almost perfunctory yet physical test from the most injury-depleted team ever in the playoffs.

Kawhi Leonard scored 21 as visiting San Antonio swept the series.

"It wasn't a fair fight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of playing a Memphis team that used a league-record 28 players this season. "Whoever was available came out and played, and they executed to the best of their ability. They played with a lot of heart and a lot of fortitude."

The Spurs finished their ninth postseason sweep and third against the Grizzlies. San Antonio also swept Memphis in the 2004 first round and the 2013 conference finals.

"They play very physical, so it's a good test for the next round," Spurs guard Tony Parker said.

The only thing that delayed the Spurs advancing was a power surge that knocked out the lights, stopping the game for about 20 minutes in the second quarter.

Spurs 116, Grizzlies 95

SAN ANTONIO (116): Leonard 6-10 7-7 21, Aldridge 6-11 3-3 15, Duncan 3-4 1-1 7, Parker 6-11 3-4 16, D.Green 1-3 0-0 2, Diaw 2-7 2-2 7, Ginobili 2-5 3-4 7, Mills 3-8 0-0 9, Anderson 2-6 0-0 5, West 4-7 2-3 11, Simmons 3-6 1-2 8, Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Marjanovic 2-2 4-5 8. Totals 40-80 26-31 116.

MEMPHIS (95): Carter 4-7 2-2 14, Barnes 6-13 2-3 15, Randolph 6-11 3-3 15, Farmar 2-6 2-2 6, Allen 3-9 0-0 6, Stephenson 11-19 4-5 26, J.Green 1-3 2-2 4, Munford 1-5 0-2 2, Andersen 1-5 5-8 7. Totals 35-78 20-27 95.

San Antonio 25 22 37 32— 116

Memphis 19 26 21 29— 95

3-Point Goals—San Antonio 10-22 (Mills 3-7, Leonard 2-3, Simmons 1-1, Diaw 1-1, Anderson 1-2, Parker 1-3, West 1-3, Ginobili 0-1, D.Green 0-1), Memphis 5-13 (Carter 4-4, Barnes 1-5, Allen 0-2, Munford 0-2). Fouled OutJ.Green. ReboundsSan Antonio 50 (Aldridge 10), Memphis 45 (Andersen 13). AssistsSan Antonio 21 (Leonard 4), Memphis 18 (Farmar 5). Total FoulsSan Antonio 21, Memphis 29. TechnicalsSan Antonio defensive three second. A18,119 (18,119).

CELTICS 104, HAWKS 95, OT: Isaiah Thomas scored 28, hitting a corner 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in overtime then adding two clinching free throws as the host Celtics sent their first-round playoff series back to Atlanta tied at two games.

Paul Millsap scored 45 for the Hawks — a career playoff high and one off his all-time best — and added 13 rebounds.

Marcus Smart scored 20 and Jonas Jerebko had 10 rebounds for Boston.

The Celtics led by four with less than a minute left in regulation when Jeff Teague hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Atlanta the lead. But Thomas, who avoided a suspension after taking a swipe at Atlanta's Dennis Schroder in Game 3, drove for a layup to tie it 92 with 15 seconds left.

Celtics 104, Hawks 95, OT

ATLANTA (95): Bazemore 2-10 0-0 5, Millsap 19-31 4-6 45, Horford 2-8 0-0 5, Teague 4-18 2-3 13, Korver 3-11 1-1 10, Schroder 3-13 0-0 7, Scott 1-2 2-3 4, Sefolosha 0-4 0-0 0, Hardaway Jr. 0-0 0-0 0, Muscala 3-3 0-0 6. Totals 37-100 9-13 95.

BOSTON (104): Crowder 4-11 2-3 12, Jerebko 6-9 1-2 16, Johnson 4-6 1-2 9, Thomas 11-23 4-5 28, Turner 7-19 2-4 17, Smart 7-15 3-3 20, Rozier 0-3 0-0 0, Sullinger 1-7 0-0 2, Olynyk 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 40-94 13-19 104.

Atlanta 21 27 25 19 3— 95

Boston 24 22 24 22 12— 104

3-Point Goals—Atlanta 12-43 (Millsap 3-6, Korver 3-9, Teague 3-10, Horford 1-2, Schroder 1-6, Bazemore 1-6, Scott 0-1, Sefolosha 0-3), Boston 11-33 (Jerebko 3-6, Smart 3-8, Thomas 2-7, Crowder 2-9, Turner 1-2, Rozier 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsAtlanta 62 (Millsap 13), Boston 65 (Jerebko 10). AssistsAtlanta 18 (Horford, Teague 5), Boston 25 (Turner, Thomas 6). Total FoulsAtlanta 20, Boston 19. TechnicalsSchroder, Sullinger, Boston defensive three second. A18,624 (18,624).

CAVALIERS 100, PISTONS 98: Kyrie Irving had 33 points and LeBron James had 22 points and 11 rebounds as visiting Cleveland held off Detroit to complete a sweep of their first-round series. The Pistons got within 97-96 with 1:07 left before Irving hit a 3-pointer to make it 100-96. Reggie Jackson drove in for a dunk to cut the lead to two but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

THUNDER FINES: The league fined Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook and forward Kevin Durant for violations in Saturday's game against the Mavericks. Westbrook was fined $25,000 for directing inappropriate language at a fan, and Durant was penalized $15,000 for his flagrant foul 2 on Justin Anderson.

BATUM UPGRADED: Hornets small forward Nic Batum was out of his protective boot at practice, walking around with a wrap on his strained left foot and wearing sandals.

SCOTT OUT: Byron Scott will not return as Lakers head coach, espn.com reported. Scott was 38-126 in Los Angeles, guiding the Lakers to their worst seasons ever in two straight years.

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