Associated Press

Stephen Curry sets records for consecutive games with at least five 3s, Warriors beat Nets

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NEW YORK (AP) โ€” Golden State appeared on its way to another easy victory when the game suddenly turned into a 3-point shootout.

Luckily for the Warriors, they have the perfect guy for that.

Stephen Curry set another NBA record by making seven 3-pointers and finished with 35 points as the Warriors held on to beat the Brooklyn Nets 120-114 on Sunday.

Kevin Durant added 34 for the Warriors, who were coasting before the Nets made it close with some sizzling shooting behind the arc.

Curry finally turned them back when his final 3-pointer made it 115-108 with 1:07 to play. He has made at least five 3s in all seven games, breaking George McCloud’s record of six games in a row during the 1995-96 season.

“They got hot in the fourth to try to make it interesting, but made enough plays down the stretch to obviously get the win,” Curry said.

Klay Thompson continued to struggle behind the arc, going 1 for 5 and falling to 5 for 36 this season. He finished with 18 points and still hasn’t had a 20-point outing this season.

D'Angelo Russell scored 25 points and Caris LeVert had 23 for the Nets, who made 20 3-pointers in 42 attempts and cut a 19-point deficit down to two.

“I think the 3-pointer got them back in the game and ended up we had to play a little bit and execute down the stretch, so it was a solid outing for us,” Durant said.

Golden State has won four in a row since its lone loss and the previous three were all by at least 20 points. The franchise record is four straight 20-point victories, set by the San Francisco Warriors in 1966-67, and it appeared the Warriors were going to equal that.

Curry scored 16 points in the first quarter. The Nets hung close until midway through the second, and another 3 by Curry pushed it to 63-44 with 1:55 remaining in the half.

“The way the first half went we easily could have kind of folded and that’s not what kind of guys we have in that locker room,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “They’re a resilient bunch and I thought they competed their tails off and it was good for the fans to see that we didn’t just succumb to their talent or their aura so to speak.”

Draymond Green had a season-high 13 assists.

Watch James Harden score 55, including 10 threes, to beat Cleveland

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CLEVELAND (AP) โ€” James Harden scored 55 points – 20 in the fourth quarter – and Russell Westbrook added 23 points as the Houston Rockets withstood an unexpected scare from Cleveland and held on for a 116-110 win Wednesday night over the free-falling Cavaliers, who have lost eight straight and 14 of 15.

Harden matched Kyrie Irving‘s arena record for points in a game, and his fourth with 50 or more this season bailed out the Rockets, who allowed the Cavs to score 24 straight points in the second half.

Cleveland was still up 108-107 when Harden, who came in leading the NBA in scoring at 38 points per game, dropped a floater in the lane. After a turnover by Cavs guard Jordan Clarkson, P.J. Tucker hit a 3-pointer from the corner and Clint Capela had a dunk following another Cleveland miscue.

The inexperienced Cavs crumbled in the final minute, making three turnovers.

Capela added 13 rebounds for Houston, which figured to have an easy time with the Cavs, who are struggling under first-year coach John Beilein.

Cleveland, though, came to play and was led by rookie Kevin Porter Jr.‘s season-high 24 points. Collin Sexton added 18 and Kevin Love had 17 points and 11 boards.

Harden connected on a pair of 3-pointers during a 16-2 run in the third quarter when the Rockets, who were sleepwalking through long stretches of the first half, appeared to take control.

But Houston relaxed, and Cleveland went on a jaw-dropping 24-0 run – all without Love, who was on the bench with a head laceration – over a 4:43 stretch bridging the third and fourth quarters to a take a 99-88 lead on Porter’s bucket.

 

Grizzlies’ Ja Morant absolutely destroyed Aron Baynes with dunk (VIDEO)

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We may have a new Dunk of the Year.

Memphis rookie Ja Morant is an athletic freak, one confident enough in his skills to go right at a big switched onto him. Say Phoenix’s Aron Baynes. On a critical fourth-quarter possession.

RIP Aron Baynes.

Memphis won the game 115-108.

Victor Oladipo not near return to Pacers rotation

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“But heโ€™s still a ways away.”

Those are not the words Pacers fans want to hear about Victor Oladipo. Their team is playing well โ€” 15-9 with a top-10 defense โ€” but they are not a real postseason threat without their best player, who is recovering from a ruptured right quadriceps tendon. Before the season, Pacers president Kevin Pritchard said he was “hopeful” Oladipo would be back in December or January.

It looks like it’s going to be the back end of that timeline. At best. From J. Michael of the Indy Star, speaking to coach Nate McMillan.

Oladipo will have to be eased back in when he does return, he’s not going too hit the ground running at 40 minutes a night.

The Pacers look like a lock playoff team in the East even without Oladipo, they can afford to bring him along slowly. The hope would be to have the All-Star up to speed and integrated into the offense when the playoffs do start. If that happens, the Pacers become that team that the elite squads want to avoid early.

Lakers outscore Magic 26-9 in the first quarter. It got uglier after that.

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As has gotten a lot of publicity this season, the Lakers have one of the best defenses in the NBA, sixth in the league in defensive rating coming into Wednesday night. Their combination of length and activity has thrown teams off their games.

Less well publicized, the Orlando Magic have been bad on offense this season, fifth-worst in the NBA.

What happens when the immovable object met a very soft force on Wednesday night, well…

Orlando shot 4-of-21 in the first quarter, missing all six of their threes, plus turned the ball over four times just to make things a little worse. Itโ€™s not that the Lakers were exactly tearing it up, as a team they shot just 35.7 percent in the first quarter (Orlando is a good defensive squad), but Anthony Davis saved their bacon with seven points plus three assists (all for threes, so 16 points generated by him in the first).

The Lakers stretched that out to a 24-point lead in the second quarter before a combination of Orlando stepping up their play and the Lakers taking their foot off the gas a little led to an 18-3 Orlando run that cut the lead to 13 at the half. LeBron James had 16 points to lead the Lakers.

By the middle of the third, Orlando had made a game of it.