Depleted Warriors stay perfect at home, Heat scorch Bulls

By AFP March 2, 2016 14:25

Depleted Warriors stay perfect at home, Heat scorch Bulls


The Golden State Warriors struggled without NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry on Tuesday, but held on to beat Atlanta 109-105 in overtime to stay perfect at home this season.

The Warriors have won all 25 games on their home court in Oakland, California, this season and 43 straight regular-season games at Oracle Arena dating back to last season.

But with Curry sidelined by a sore ankle and Andre Iguodala — last season’s NBA Finals MVP — also absent, it was a close game.

“Terrific victory,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Our guys stayed with it. Every single guy who played contributed. Great team effort.”

Draymond Green beat the shot-clock with an awkward three-pointer with 40.2 seconds left in overtime to give the Warriors a 107-103 lead.

Golden State’s Australian center Andrew Bogut had saved the ball from going out of bounds and swatted it to Green, who leapt and released his shot.

Thompson’s three-pointer with 2:54 remaining in overtime had put the Warriors up by one and Bogut tipped in a Green miss to make it 104-101.

The Hawks narrowed the gap to one point with Paul Millsap’s layup before Green’s off-balance shot, and Thompson capped the scoring with a step-back jump shot with 11.4 seconds left.

Thompson scored seven of his 26 points in the extra session as the Warriors improved to 54-5 with their fifth overtime win of the season.

“What a game,” Thompson said. “No excuses, but we were down two MVPs. It feels good to win — any means necessary.”

Bogut scored 19 points on eight-of-nine shooting, while Green added 15 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

“I thought everybody was aggressive, and that was the key,” Kerr said.

On Thursday the Warriors host Oklahoma City with a chance to tie the Chicago Bulls’ record 44-game home winning streak, set over two seasons in 1995 and 1996.

– Heat on fire -The Miami Heat were on fire, connecting on a club record 67.5 percent of their shots in a 129-111 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

The Heat’s shooting percentage was not only the best in franchise history, but also the best in the NBA this season.

Miami center Hassan Whiteside had a career-high 26 points with 14 rebounds and four blocks — all game highs. It was Whiteside’s sixth straight double-double, all of them off the bench.

Forward Joe Johnson, playing his first home game in Miami in his second contest since signing with the Heat at the weekend, scored 24 points.

Luol Deng, a former Bulls standout, had 20 points, Goran Dragic had a double-double of 17 points and 11 assists and Dwyane Wade added 18 points and seven assists for Miami, who improved to 34-26 and are in fourth place in the East.

Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, back after missing three games with a hamstring injury, scored 17 points, but Chicago allowed more than 100 points for the 14th straight game.

The Bulls fell to 30-29 and ninth place in the Eastern Conference — half a game behind Detroit for the eighth and final playoff spot.

– Lillard lifts Trail Blazers -In New York, Portland’s Damian Lillard scored 30 points to lead the Trail Blazers to their 10th win in 12 games, by a score of 104-85 over the Knicks.

Lillard scored 24 points in a dominant first half — including 14 in less than three minutes late in the second quarter.

C.J. McCollum helped the Trail Blazers distance themselves further after the interval, scoring 21 of his 25 in the second half.

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but Anthony was visibly frustrated in a game in which the Knicks again heard boos from their home fans.

– Russell shines as Kobe sits -With Kobe Bryant sidelined by a sore shoulder, rookie D’Angelo Russell scored a career-high 39 points to help the Los Angeles Lakers snap an eight-game losing streak with a 107-101 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

Russell connected on 14 of 21 shots from the floor, making eight three-pointers.

Russell’s 39 points were the most by a Lakers rookie in a regular-season game since Elgin Baylor scored 55 in a game in March of 1959.





By AFP March 2, 2016 14:25


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