Warriors, Spurs notch dominant wins
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Los Angeles (AFP)
The NBA champion Golden State Warriors produced a dynamic offensive display Friday in a 133-112 wire-to-wire NBA victory over the Orlando Magic in Florida.
The banged-up Warriors, with Stephen Curry still nursing a painful bruised finger, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson battling troublesome ankles and David West suffering from a sore left knee, nevertheless proved more than a match for the Magic.
Coming off a lethargic-looking overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, the Warriors answered the call of coach Steve Kerr to play with energy and purpose.
The result was a 78-63 point Warriors lead at halftime -- Golden State's highest-scoring half this season.
Their 46 assists were the most in the NBA this season and one shy of the franchise record.
"This is a good step in the right direction," Kerr said.
Thompson led the way with 27 points. Durant connected on 10 of his 14 shots en route to 25 points before he was ejected for swearing at a referee over a foul call on his final basket.
Durant was clearly miffed at being tossed.
"The refs run the game, so if they're not feeling good today, they can just make any decision they want," Durant said.
"So I've got to know that they've got all the power and I've got to just shut up and take it."
Curry, again playing with his right ring finger bandaged, had 23 points and 10 assists as the Warriors seized control early and thwarted every Magic effort to rally.
"The way we played tonight was Warriors-like basketball," Curry said. "We wanted to get back to that and not get bogged down and stagnate on offense. Everybody was involved."
- Spurs pummel Grizzlies -
The San Antonio Spurs, chasing the Houston Rockets and the Warriors in the Western Conference, handed the Memphis Grizzlies their 10th straight defeat on Friday, 95-79.
The Grizzlies' skid is the longest in the NBA this season.
After beating the Grizzlies 104-95 in San Antonio on Wednesday, the Spurs piled on the misery in Memphis.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 points and Rudy Gay added 18 for a Spurs team that pulled away in the fourth quarter and led by as many as 28 points down the stretch.
In Oklahoma City, the Thunder again nearly let a sizeable second-half lead slip away before Paul George's two free-throws with 5.2 seconds left sealed a 111-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
George had 36 points and Oklahoma City center Steven Adams of New Zealand added a career-high 27 on perfect 11-of-11 shooting as the Thunder snapped a three-game losing streak.
Russell Westbrook scored 15 points and fell just shy of a triple-double with 14 assists and nine rebounds.
"Obviously it wasn't a perfect game, we've still got a lot to work on," Adams said. "But we needed this win, so we've got to be happy with it."
A second-half rally in Washington propelled the Wizards past the Detroit Pistons to a 109-91 victory.
With Wizards All-Star John Wall still sidelined, Markieff Morris scored a season-high 23 points.
Otto Porter added 17 for Washington, who trailed 52-46 at halftime but opened the third quarter with a 17-0 scoring run and ended Detroit's three-game winning streak.
In Salt Lake City, rookie Donovan Mitchell scored a career-high 41 points as the Jazz rallied for a 114-108 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans saw star forward Anthony Davis go down with a groin injury in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Davis had to be helped from the court and didn't return.
Elsewhere, the Chicago Bulls endured their eighth straight defeat, falling 107-106 to the Sacramento Kings. It was the second one-point loss in as many days for Chicago.
© 2017 AFP