Reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors survived to beat the Toronto Raptors 127-125 as they welcomed back star guard Stephen Curry.
One night after the Cleveland Cavaliers blew a 22-point lead, it looked like the best team in basketball were going to have a collapse of their own – the Warriors surrendering a 27-point half-time lead on Saturday.
However, the Warriors showed why they have won two of the last three NBA titles as they held on for victory.
“Definitely a wild night, we came out that third quarter and we started fouling a lot and they went to the free-throw line probably 10 possessions in a row,” Draymond Green told NBA TV after the game. “That slowed our pace down and when you’re playing against a set defense every time no one is as good as when you can get out in transition and get a couple of easy baskets and then get the flow going.”
DeMar DeRozan did all he could to lead a comeback for Toronto with 42 points, five rebounds and three assists while going eight for 10 from the free-throw line, but 20-point games from Kevin Durant (25), Curry (24) and Klay Thompson (26) were just enough to hold off the Raptors.
Golden State have now won seven of their last eight games. The Raptors have dropped two of three.
“The one thing that we know is it’s a process,” Green said. “You don’t win the championship in June, you win the championship from September to May, June, and then you’ve got to enjoy the process, embrace it and try to get better every time we step on the floor.”
WALL THE PROVIDER IN WIZARDS WIN
John Wall did not have the best shooting night going nine-of-24 from the floor in the Washington Wizards’ 119-113 win over the Brooklyn Nets, but he added 16 assists to help lead his team to victory.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle had a game-high 23 points and registered a double-double with 15 rebounds in a 107-101 overtime win against the Dallas Mavericks.
Reigning MVP Russell Westbrook did what he does best, nearly registering a triple double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists all while shooting less-than-stellar from the floor as he went 10-of-27 from the field in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 101-91 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
PISTONS LOSE AS HARRIS STRUGGLES
Pistons guard Tobias Harris went three-of-14 from the floor and 0 for six from three-point range in Detroit’s 107-105 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Hornets guard Kemba Walker did not have a bad night with 19 points, but going five-of-17 shooting, including two for seven from beyond the arc, with five turnovers is not great either.
OUBRES FINISHES WITH THE SLAM
Kelly Oubre made a nice cut down the baseline, and with a little help from Wall, he finished strong at the basket.
Kelly Oubre Jr. slashes and slams!#DCFamily pic.twitter.com/Dcs0BTnzDC
— NBA (@NBA) January 14, 2018
Los Angeles Lakers 107-101 (OT) Dallas Mavericks
Oklahoma City Thunder 101-91 Charlotte Hornets
Golden State Warriors 127-125 Toronto Raptors
Los Angeles Clippers 126-105 Sacramento Kings
Washington Wizards 119-113 (OT) Brooklyn Nets
Chicago Bulls 107-105 Detroit Pistons
San Antonio Spurs 112-80 Denver Nuggets
TRAIL BLAZERS AT TIMBERWOLVES
The Minnesota Timberwolves are quietly one of the hottest teams in the NBA as they have gone 11-3 in their last 14 games. They are 28-16 after starting the season off 17-13. Karl-Anthony Towns has posted double-doubles in eight straight games and in 12 of his last 13. C.J. McCollum is averaging 21.6 points per game for the season and nearly 25 points per game in Damian Lillard’s four-game absence for the Portland Trail Blazers.