Looking fully recovered from injury, Steph Curry erupts for 42 points as the defending champion Warriors improve to 17-9
Published 12:18 PM, December 06, 2018
Updated 12:35 PM, December 06, 2018
SIZZLING. Steph Curry knocks in 9 triples in the NBA Finals rematch handily won by the Warriors over the Cavs. Photo from Golden State Warriors
LOS ANGELES, USA – Stephen Curry erupted for 42 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 129-105 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, December 5 (Thursday, December 6, Manila time) in an NBA Finals rematch in name only.
Curry drained 9 three-pointers and Kevin Durant added 25 points on a 9-of-16 shooting as the Warriors pulled away in the second half against a Cleveland team that bears little resemblance to the LeBron James-led Cavs that battled the Warriors in the last 4 championship series.
Curry, looking fully recovered from the groin injury that sidelined him for 11 games, added 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Durant pulled down 10 rebounds and handed out 9 assists.
The Warriors were back in Cleveland for the first time since June, when they beat the Cavs to win their second straight NBA title and third in 4 years.
Since then the Cavs have seen James depart as a free agent to the Los Angeles Lakers. Forward JR Smith was also absent from the team, Kevin Love was nursing a foot injury and Kyle Korver was recently traded to Utah.
Tristan Thompson, one of the only holdovers from the Cavaliers teams that challenged the Warriors – and beat them for the crown in 2016 – scored 14 points with 19 rebounds.
Rookie Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers with 21 points.
“It just felt quiet, from what we’re used to,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the atmosphere in Cleveland. “For obvious reasons – it’s not the same out there.”
guess who hit another 3
(hint: it's his 9th tonight)
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 6, 2018
Despite Curry’s 25 first-half points, Cleveland led at the break, closing the half on a 19-5 scoring run.
“I thought they competed really hard,” Kerr said of the Cavaliers. “First half, they knocked down shots, they controlled the whole half. Our talent took over in the second half.”
The Warriors improved to 17-9 – still fourth in a Western Conference led by the Denver Nuggets, who edged the Orlando Magic 124-118 in overtime for a seventh straight victory that pushed their record to 17-7.
They finished the night half a game in front of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who erased a 23-point deficit with less than 5 minutes to play to beat the Brooklyn Nets 114-112.
“This is a special night,” said Thunder forward Paul George, who scored 25 of his 47 points in the 4th quarter. “We came together when we were down – our backs against the wall. We showed who we are tonight.”
George drained the game-winning three-pointer with 3 seconds remaining, taking a feed from Russell Westbrook who drew two defenders then passed to George on the perimeter.
Westbrook finished with 21 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds, his 108th career triple-double moving him past Jason Kidd for third place on the NBA’s all-time list.
Only Oscar Robertson with 181 and Magic Johnson with 138 have achieved more triple-doubles –reaching double digits in 3 key statistical categories.
Congrats to Russell Westbrook of the @okcthunder for moving up to 3rd on the all-time TRIPLE-DOUBLES list!#ThunderUp #ThisIsWhyWePlay pic.twitter.com/On5iZz6QKd
— NBA (@NBA) December 6, 2018
The Los Angeles Clippers, who came into the night tied for the lead in the West, fell a game behind the Nuggets with a 96-86 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Memphis avenged their overtime loss to the Clippers less than two weeks ago, holding Los Angeles to their lowest points total of the season.
Center Joakim Noah, signed by the Grizzlies on Tuesday, made his first NBA appearance in 11 months, scoring 4 points in 13 minutes on the floor.
In Toronto, Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 18 of his 26 in the 4th quarter as the Raptors defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 113-102.
The Raptors rebounded from a loss to Denver on Monday to improve their league-leading record to 21-5.
Leonard connected on 13-of-24 shots from the field, including 5-of-6 from three-point range as the Raptors withstood a 38-point performance from Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler. – Rappler.com