Thompson scores 40 points to lead Warriors over Mavs 128-120

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Klay Thompson scored 40 points and Stephen Curry added 33 to help the Golden State Warriors become the second team to post back-to-back 65-win seasons with a 128-120 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

Draymond Green added 19 as the Warriors won their 52nd straight regular-season home game and improve their record to 65-7 following a 67-win season a year ago. The only other team to win at least 65 games in consecutive seasons was Chicago in 1995-96 and 1996-97. The Bulls won a record 72 games that first season, a mark the Warriors remain on target to beat after their latest win.

Golden State hit 21 3-pointers to give them a record 938 on the season, breaking the mark of 933 set by Houston last season. Dallas hit 18 3s as the teams combined for a record 39 on the night.

Wesley Matthews scored 26 points and J.J. Barea added 21 for the short-handed Mavericks, who were without three usual starters. David Lee added 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists in his first game back in Oakland since winning the championship with Golden State last season.

The Warriors opened up an 18-point lead in the third quarter before Matthews helped lead Dallas back. He scored 18 points in the quarter as the Mavericks closed to within 102-89 after three. Dallas got the deficit into single digits early in the fourth three times, only to have Thompson respond with 3-pointers each time to restore the double-digit margin.

The Mavericks then closed to 116-113 with just over three minutes remaining on a 3-pointer by Charlie Villanueva. But Harrison Barnes hit a turnaround jumper and Curry scored on a coast-to-coast layup with help from a slick behind-the-back dribble to elude Zaza Pachulia to make it 120-113 with 22:33 remaining.

Curry was involved in one of the few plays that didn’t work on a night dominated by the offenses. Late in the second quarter, he found himself all alone behind the 3-point line. Thompson raised his arms in celebration and started back down to the other end of the court, so sure that Curry would make the open 3. The only problem was Curry decided to pass to an equally open Thompson. The ball hit off Thompson and was nearly a turnover.

Curry made up for that blunder when he hit a 33-footer punctuated by a shimmy dance just before the halftime buzzer to give Golden State a 72-58 lead at the break.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: F Dirk Nowitzki (rest), PG Deron Williams (abdominal strain) and G Devin Harris (birth of child) all sat out for Dallas. … F Chandler Parsons will miss the rest of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Friday.

Warriors: Thompson hit nine 3-pointers to give him a career-high 246 on the season. … F Andre Iguodala (sprained left ankle) is making progress in his recovery, but the earliest he will be able to play will be next Tuesday.

RING NIGHT

Lee was presented with his championship ring in a pregame ceremony. There was a video tribute to Lee before Curry presented his former co-captain his ring.

“It’s very special,” Lee said before the ceremony. “When we got here, we were a losing team. It’s been quite a journey. To end that last year with the ultimate thing you want to accomplish in sports, to win a championship, it’s great to celebrate that and enjoy it for one last time tonight.”

UP NEXT

Mavericks: Visit Sacramento on Sunday.

Warriors: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.

Rumor: Patrick Beverley may meet with five teams before Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers want to bring Patrick Beverley back next season, his spark was at the heart of why this team made the playoffs and impressed with their potential.

First, however, the Clippers are going big game hunting for the likes of Kawhi Leonard and/or Kevin Durant (even with the Achilles injury). Beverley isn’t just going to sit around and wait for them, reports longtime NBA reporter Sean Deveney Tweeted.

The Bulls need a point guard and Beverley — a Chicago native — has said he is interested.

The Lakers also are reportedly big game hunting, but Beverley is the kind of guard they could use around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Phoenix and other teams have been mentioned.

Beverley is going to have options, but he loved his time with the Clippers last season, and that means something.

Pelicans reportedly pick up option year on coach Alvin Gentry

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David Griffin, the guy with the hammer in New Orleans, likes Alvin Gentry. They have a relationship that goes back to Phoenix, where Gentry was the coach and Griffin was in the front office (and was eventually GM).

Gentry also has a style of play — he wants to run and be up-tempo. That should fit very well with soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Griffin and the Pelicans want to keep Gentry around, as reported by Malika Andrews of ESPN.

This is another smart, stabilizing move by Griffin. The Pelicans want to build an athletic, fast-paced team and Gentry is the right coach for that style.  Maybe it doesn’t pan out, maybe the Pelicans ultimately need to go another direction with their coach, but right now this seems a good fit.

Report: Utah “frontrunner” to land Mike Conley Jr. if Memphis trades him this week

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Utah feels like it is close — a 50-win team two seasons in a row, an elite defense, an All-NBA center in Rudy Gobert and an elite shot creator in Donovan Michell. They look at the West next season, with a depleted Warriors team, and see an opening.

Yet when Utah fell to Houston 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs this year, it was reminded of what is keeping the team from being truly elite, and another shot creator and shooter is at the top of that list.

Enter Mike Conley Jr. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game last season, shot 36.4 percent from three, and plays strong defense. Conley would be an upgrade over Ricky Rubio at the spot.

The almost All-Star point guard out of Memphis is available via trade. He’s the kind of veteran floor general, shooter, and shot creator Utah could use. The Jazz and Grizzlies talked but couldn’t come to an agreement at the trade deadline, but the sides are talking again and conversations are “intensifying” in the run-up to the NBA Draft Thursday, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Grizzlies are intensifying talks to potentially move franchise cornerstone Mike Conley Jr., league sources told The Athletic. Memphis has been in conversations with the Jazz and Utah is a frontrunner to acquire Conley should the Grizzlies trade the point guard during draft week, league sources said.

What would be in a trade package? Certainly the No. 23 pick in this draft, plus some young players the Grizzlies like (maybe Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neal, and even someone like Jae Crowder. Reports say Derick Favors is not part of the discussion.

While anything can happen the week of the draft — and things change quickly — don’t be surprised if some version of this trade gets done.

Kawhi Leonard wins day with last laugh — his viral laugh — at end of speech

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Kawhi Leonard just won again.

He won his second NBA title leading the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first crown. He earned his second Finals MVP in the process.

Then on Monday he had the last laugh and won the Raptors’ championship parade in Toronto by ending his speech with his laugh, the same one that went viral at the start of the season.

Of course, what Leonard will do on July 1 was a cloud hanging over the parade, Leonard is a free agent this summer. Kyle Lowry at one point started a “five more years” chant during the parade, which is the maximum number of years Toronto can re-sign Leonard for.

Leonard, exactly as we all should have expected, dodged the question, while praising his time in Toronto.

Unfortunately, this was a parade marred by more serious concerns.