Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Warriors pushed but still remain perfect at 21-0

TORONTO — Stephen Curry likes playing in Toronto, and it shows.

Curry made nine 3-pointers and scored 44, leading the undefeated Warriors to a 112-109 victory over the Raptors on Saturday.

Curry made 14 of 24 shots and 9 of 15 3-pointers as Golden State pushed its NBA-record start to 21-0. The league MVP is averaging 30 points for his six career games at Toronto, where his father, Dell, played his final three seasons.

"I have great memories of being here watching my dad play. I got some shots up on that rim for three years every game night," he said.

"I enjoy coming back here and playing, it's a familiar setting."

Klay Thompson added 26 points for the Warriors, and Draymond Green had 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

The win moved Golden State past the St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association, a predecessor to Major League Baseball, for the best start to a season by a pro team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

At 25 straight regular-season wins, the Warriors also possess the third-longest streak in NBA history, behind only the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33) and the 2012-13 Miami Heat (27).

"That's our 11th win on the road this year, so you have to give the guys in there so much credit for even on the games where we really don't have it, finding ways to win," interim coach Luke Walton said.

This one was a challenge. The three-point margin matched the smallest of the season for the Warriors, who won 106-103 at Utah on Monday.

"It's really good," Curry said. "Twenty-one different challenges and we've been able to separate each one individually and figure out different ways of winning. It's been fun."

Kyle Lowry made six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 41 for Toronto, which has dropped three of four. DeMar DeRozan recovered from an ugly 1-for-10 shooting performance in the first half, finishing with 16 points.

The Raptors also played a tight game at Golden State on Nov. 17, losing 115-110.

"We have to understand it's the best team in the league and we had them down to the last possession of both games," DeRozan said. "It just shows how good of a team we can be. We have to learn from it."

Lowry found Lucas Nogueira for an alley-oop dunk with 2:03 to go, tying it at 102. Green responded with two free throws for Golden State. After DeRozan went 1-of-2 at the line, Curry hit two more free throws.

Curry and Thompson then combined to go 6-for-6 at the line in the final 18.2 seconds to help Golden State hang on.

"It seems like he gets 40 points quietly," Thompson said of Curry. "I know times that I've gotten 40 in the NBA, I've been very happy with it, but he just seems to not be content. His skill level and ability to shoot are unparalleled, and he's a truly special talent we might never see again."

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Danilo Gallinari scored 24, including the go-ahead dunk with less than a minute left, to lead the visiting Nuggets to a 108-105 victory over the 76ers. Robert Covington scored 18 and Isaiah Canaan 15 for Philadelphia, which dropped to 1-20. Sixers rookie Jahil Okafor sat out the second of a two-game suspension imposed by the team Wednesday after the release of a second video from a nightclub fight in Boston on Nov. 25. Will Barton had 16 points for Denver, which ended a five-game trip by winning its second straight after snapping an eight-game skid Thursday night.

LEBRON SITS: LeBron James' latest return to Miami was only a night off.

James was not in Cleveland's lineup for its game against the Heat, with coach David Blatt saying he was responsible for the move.

James did not make himself available for comment before the game, though he was in the facility. Cleveland went 0-2 in his appearances in Miami last season, his first times back as an opponent after a four-season, two-championship stint with the Heat. James also had said earlier this season that he wanted to play in all 82 games this season, something that now won't happen.

"He wanted to play," Blatt said. "No question."

It's the earliest point in a season that James has ever missed a game for rest purposes. He missed a December game last season with a sore left knee, but has never before sat out a game in November or December without an announced injury.

"It was a situation I felt was not worth risking," Blatt said.

Warriors 112, Raptors 109

GOLDEN STATE (112): Rush 1-2 0-0 3, Green 5-12 6-9 16, Ezeli 2-5 4-8 8, Curry 14-24 7-9 44, K.Thompson 7-15 6-6 26, Iguodala 0-2 0-0 0, Livingston 2-4 0-0 4, Barbosa 2-3 0-0 4, Clark 1-1 0-0 2, Speights 1-4 3-4 5, McAdoo 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 35-73 26-36 112.

TORONTO (109): Carroll 4-10 0-0 9, Scola 2-9 6-6 10, Biyombo 0-0 0-0 0, Lowry 14-26 7-8 41, DeRozan 5-19 6-8 16, Nogueira 7-9 0-0 14, Joseph 4-10 1-2 9, Ross 2-3 0-0 5, Patterson 2-5 0-0 4, Johnson 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 40-91 21-26 109.

Golden State 32 27 24 29— 112

Toronto 21 28 30 30— 109

3-Point GoalsGolden State 16-30 (Curry 9-15, K.Thompson 6-9, Rush 1-2, Iguodala 0-1, Speights 0-1, Green 0-2), Toronto 8-20 (Lowry 6-10, Ross 1-1, Carroll 1-3, DeRozan 0-1, Patterson 0-2, Joseph 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsGolden State 55 (Ezeli 10), Toronto 49 (Patterson 10). AssistsGolden State 22 (Curry 7), Toronto 21 (Lowry 7). Total FoulsGolden State 24, Toronto 27. TechnicalsGolden State defensive three second 2, Toronto Coach Casey. A20,160 (19,800).

Nuggets 108, 76ers 105

DENVER (108): Gallinari 7-14 7-9 24, Arthur 3-6 0-0 8, Lauvergne 1-4 0-0 2, Mudiay 4-12 1-2 10, Foye 4-10 3-3 11, Hickson 2-4 3-9 7, Barton 5-11 5-6 16, Nelson 4-9 0-0 10, Miller 3-3 0-0 8, Faried 4-8 4-9 12. Totals 37-81 23-38 108.

PHILADELPHIA (105): Covington 6-13 1-2 18, Grant 4-8 2-4 10, Noel 5-8 4-7 14, McConnell 4-10 1-2 10, Canaan 5-9 0-0 15, Stauskas 3-6 1-2 9, Thompson 1-4 0-0 2, Wroten 2-7 0-0 4, Holmes 4-4 1-1 10, Sampson 3-5 6-8 13. Totals 37-74 16-26 105.

Denver 29 23 25 31— 108

Philadelphia 25 34 26 20— 105

3-Point GoalsDenver 11-31 (Gallinari 3-9, Miller 2-2, Nelson 2-4, Arthur 2-4, Mudiay 1-3, Barton 1-5, Foye 0-4), Philadelphia 15-31 (Canaan 5-8, Covington 5-12, Stauskas 2-4, Holmes 1-1, Sampson 1-1, McConnell 1-2, Grant 0-1, Thompson 0-2). Fouled OutArthur. ReboundsDenver 57 (Barton, Faried 9), Philadelphia 49 (Covington 10). AssistsDenver 25 (Miller, Mudiay 6), Philadelphia 22 (McConnell, Thompson 6). Total FoulsDenver 21, Philadelphia 28. TechnicalsNoel. A15,677 (20,318).

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