Warriors win 9th straight behind Curry’s 38 points
WASHINGTON (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 38 points, local product Kevin Durant had 21 and the Golden State Warriors hammered the ball inside to beat the Washington Wizards 126-118 Thursday night for their season-high ninth consecutive victory.
The two-time defending NBA champions put up 70 points in the paint after shooting 1 of 6 from the outside in the first quarter. Curry was at the forefront of Golden State’s drive-the-paint strategy as he made just two of his eight 3-point attempts and was 12 of 16 inside the arc.
Durant, from nearby Suitland, Maryland, was 9 of 18 from the floor.
Center DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points in 24 minutes in his third game with the Warriors since missing almost a full year with a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Cousins was a matchup nightmare in the post against Washington, which went with a small lineup for most of the night.
THUNDER 122, PELICANS 116
Westbrook finished with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 16 assists for the 119th triple-double of his career. The Thunder improved to 10-5 this season when he gets one.
The Pelicans were without star center Anthony Davis, who missed his third straight game with a left index finger sprain, and the team announced Thursday that Nikola Mirotic will be out at least a week with a right calf strain.
TRAIL BLAZERS 120, SUNS 106
PHOENIX (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 24 points, CJ McCollum and Jake Layman added 20 apiece and the Portland Trail Blazers pulled away in the second half to hand the short-handed Suns their sixth straight loss.
The Trail Blazers beat Phoenix for the ninth straight time. Portland has won four of five and eight of 11 overall.
Devin Booker scored 27 points for the Suns, but only nine after the first quarter. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 18 on 6-of-18 shooting. Dragan Bender, forced into the starting center role due to injuries, had 17.
The Suns were without rookie center Deandre Ayton (sprained left ankle) and backup Richaun Holmes (right foot sprain) for the third straight game. T.J. Warren also sat out with a sore right ankle, and Suns starting point guard De’Anthony Melton left in the third quarter with a sprained right ankle.
Rajon Rondo had 15 points, 13 assists and six rebounds in his first game since injuring a finger on Christmas, but the Lakers lost their third in a row. Brandon Ingram had 20 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 13.
LeBron James missed his 15th consecutive game because of a groin strain.