Undermanned Suns spoil Stephen Curry’s return to Warriors
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mikal Bridges had 26 points, nine rebounds and five assists and the undermanned Suns dominated in Stephen Curry’s return from injury as Phoenix beat the Golden State Warriors for a third time this season, 125-113 on Tuesday night to snap a season-worst six-game skid.
Former Warriors guard Damion Lee received his championship ring in a pregame ceremony from brother-in-law Curry, then scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds against his former team. He converted six free throws over the final 1:13 and went 14 of 14 from the line overall.
Duane Washington Jr. scored 21 points, Dario Saric contributed 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and Torrey Craig had 12 points and 14 rebounds for a deep Phoenix team missing four of five starters and six of eight rotation regulars.
Curry came back from an 11-game absence with a partially dislocated left shoulder to score 24 points on 8-for-22 shooting. Klay Thompson had 29 points with six 3-pointers — four 3s and 14 points in the first quarter alone. Jordan Poole’s 3 with 1:28 remaining cut it to 117-111, and he scored 27 points.
While Warriors coach Steve Kerr noted, “to go 6-5 without Steph is an accomplishment,” the reigning NBA Finals MVP couldn’t do it all against a Phoenix team missing injured stars Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton and Cameron Johnson. The Warriors have lost three in a row after a season-best five-game winning streak, wrapping up an eight-game homestand that matched the longest in franchise history.
HEAT 112, THUNDER 111
MIAMI (AP) — Jimmy Butler’s three-point play with 12.9 seconds left capped an NBA-record performance by Miami in a victory over Oklahoma City.
Butler’s free throw made the Heat 40 for 40 from the foul line, breaking the 39-for-39 mark by Utah against Portland on Dec. 7, 1982.
Butler was 23 for 23 from the line, tying the second-most makes without a miss in NBA history. James Harden made 24 without a miss for Houston on Dec. 3, 2019, and Dirk Nowitzki made 24 without a miss for Dallas in a playoff game against the Thunder on May 17, 2011. Dominique Wilkins also went 23 for 23 in a game in 1992.
Butler had 35 points for Miami, which had used only eight players and was down to seven when Dewayne Dedmon was ejected in the second quarter. The Heat were without four regular starters — Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and Caleb Martin — along with reserves Duncan Robinson, Omer Yurtseven and Nikola Jovic, all because of injuries.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 26 points for the Thunder. Josh Giddey had a triple-double — 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.
JAZZ 116, CAVALIERS 114
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell had 46 points in his return to Utah, but the Jazz rallied late behind Jordan Clarkson to beat Cleveland.
Clarkson scored 32 points, including five 3-pointers, and had nine straight down the stretch to fuel a decisive 13-0 run.
Mitchell, who spent his first five seasons with Utah, also had six assists and three steals. Darius Garland added 21 points and six assists for Cleveland.
Lauri Markkanen had 25 points and 16 rebounds for the Jazz. Malik Beasley, Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 13 apiece as Utah won for just the second time in nine games.
76ERS 147, PISTONS 116
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid rocked braids and had 36 points and 11 rebounds, James Harden added a second straight triple-double and Philadelphia routed Detroit.
Harden finished with 16 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds
Embiid returned from a three-game absence with a sore left foot with a new look. But it was the same dominant performance out of last season’s NBA scoring champion.
Two days after Harden also had a triple-double in the 76ers’ victory at Detroit, the Sixers raced to a 24-point lead in the first half.
Saddiq Bey, Jaden Ivey and Rodney McGruder each scored 17 points for Detroit.
CLIPPERS 113, MAVERICKS 101
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 33 points, Norman Powell added 27 and Los Angeles snapped a six-game losing streak, overcoming Luka Doncic’s 43-point night for Dallas.
Leonard tied a season high in rebounds with nine.
Doncic, who sat out Sunday against Oklahoma City due to left ankle soreness, missed four of his first five shots and had 12 points on 3-of-9 shooting in the first half before getting hot.
MAGIC 109, TRAIL BLAZERS 106
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Franz Wagner scored 29 points, Wendell Carter Jr. added 20 points and 10 rebounds and Orlando beat Portland.
Paulo Banchero added 19 points for the Magic. They were coming off a 115-101 loss at Sacramento the night before.
Damian Lillard had 30 points for Portland. The Trail Blazers have lost four straight.
RAPTORS 132, HORNETS 120
TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam scored 28 points, Gary Trent Jr. had 24 and Toronto beat Charlotte for its second straight victory
O.G. Anunoby had 22 points, matching his career high with six 3-pointers. The Raptors made a season-high 20 3-points in 44 attempts.
Terry Rozier scored 33 points and LaMelo Ball had 24 points and a season-high 14 assists for Charlotte. The Hornets lost for the fifth time in six games.
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