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Stephen Curry returns as Golden State Warriors reclaim top seed with win over Detroit Pistons

Aldridge drops 48 as Spurs top Celtics; Hornets stun Raptors with Lamb heave at buzzer; LeBron helps Lakers end losing streak

Monday 25 March 2019 07:32, UK

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after a game against the Detroit Pistons on March 24, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California.
Image: Stephen Curry returned from a one-game absence to lead the Golden State Warriors back to winning ways

Stephen Curry scored 26 points on Sunday night as the Golden State Warriors shook off the embarrassment of a 35-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks one day earlier to turn back the Detroit Pistons 121-114.

Sunday night's scores

  • Los Angeles Clippers 124-113 New York Knicks
  • Cleveland Cavaliers 105-127 Milwaukee Bucks
  • Denver Nuggets 88-124 Indiana Pacers
  • Charlotte Hornets 115-114 Toronto Raptors
  • Houston Rockets 113-90 New Orleans Pelicans
  • San Antonio Spurs 115-96 Boston Celtics
  • Detroit Pistons 114-121 Golden State Warriors
  • Sacramento Kings 106-111 Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Conference standings

NBA Conference standings

Who's leading the East? Who's leading the West?

Detroit Pistons 114-121 Golden State Warriors

NBA Golden State Warriors v Detroit Pistons 1:48
Highlights from the NBA as Detroit Pistons took on Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena

Stephen Curry returned from a one-game absence to hit five three-pointers and total a game-high 26 points on Sunday night as the Golden State Warriors shook off the embarrassment of a 35-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks one day earlier to turn back the Detroit Pistons 121-114.

The Golden State win, coupled with Denver's loss at Indiana earlier in the day, allowed the Warriors (50-23) to move a half-game ahead of the Nuggets (49-23) in the race for the best record in the Western Conference.

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The 50-win season is the sixth straight for the Warriors, their fifth in a row under coach Steve Kerr.

The loss dropped Detroit (37-36) from sixth to seventh in the Eastern Conference and further jumbled the five-team battle for the final three playoff spots. That duel also includes Brooklyn (38-36), Miami (36-37), Orlando (35-38) and Charlotte (34-39).

Curry shot 5-for-10 on three-pointers and Klay Thompson 4-for-6, helping Golden State shoot 52 per cent on threes (13-for-25).

Klay Thompson #11 and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors look on during a game against the Detroit Pistons on March 24, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California.
Image: Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 50 points against the Pistons

Thompson finished with 24 points, Draymond Green 14 and Kevon Looney 11 for the Warriors, while Kevin Durant recorded a 14-point, 11-assist double-double.

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Blake Griffin had 24 points, and Andre Drummond had a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Pistons, who shot 46.4 percent overall and 12-for-31 (38.7 percent) on three-pointers.

Luke Kennard chipped in with 20 points off the bench for Detroit, while Ish Smith had 14, and Thon Maker and Langston Galloway 12 apiece.

San Antonio Spurs 115-96 Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics against San Antonio Spurs from the NBA 1:14
Highlights from the NBA as San Antonio Spurs took on Boston Celtics at TD Garden

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 48 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the visiting San Antonio Spurs rolled to an emphatic 115-96 win over the reeling Boston Celtics to snap a two-game losing streak.

The Spurs led by seven points at halftime and by just 64-60 after Boston's Kyrie Irving hit a three-pointer with 6:33 to play in the third period. San Antonio (43-31) then ran off 13 of the game's next 15 points to pull away, and the Celtics, playing the second game of a road-home back-to-back, never mounted another charge.

Aldridge's points were the second-most of his career, following his 56 in a double-overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this season.

LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Boston Celtics on March 24, 2019 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
Image: LaMarcus Aldridge had the second-most points of his career with 48 against the Boston Celtics

DeMar DeRozan added 16 points for the Spurs, who have won 10 of their past 12, while Patty Mills hit for 12 points off the bench, and Jakob Poeltl took 10 rebounds for San Antonio.

Marcus Smart led the Celtics with 14 points, with Marcus Morris and Gordon Hayward adding 13 each, and Irving and Daniel Theis scoring 11 points apiece.

Hayward paced Boston with 10 rebounds and Irving had 12 assists as the Celtics (43-31) lost their fourth game in a row.

Boston played without center Al Horford (left knee soreness), forward Jayson Tatum (right low back contusion) and forward Robert Williams (low back contusion).

Denver Nuggets 88-124 Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers v Denver Nuggets from the NBA 1:29
Highlights from the NBA as Denver Nuggets took on Indiana Pacers at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Bojan Bogdanovic exploded for 35 points while team-mates Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis recorded double-doubles as the Indiana Pacers avenged a loss to the Denver Nuggets last week with a 124-88 romp in a duel of teams battling for NBA playoff positioning.

The win allowed the Pacers (45-29), coming off a four-game road losing streak that included a 102-100 defeat in Denver on March 16, to solidify their standing as the No. 4 team in the Eastern Conference with just eight games remaining. Indiana still has two games on the schedule against current No. 5 seed Boston, one at each site.

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Meanwhile, the Nuggets (49-23) failed in their quest to win a 50th game as they challenge Golden State for the top spot in the West. Those two teams meet one final time in the regular season at Golden State on April 2.

As opposed to the previous meeting, which was tied until the Nuggets' Paul Millsap made a layup with seven seconds remaining, the Pacers took charge of the rematch early, expanding a 27-23 lead after one quarter to as many as 17 points in the second period. The second half was never close.

Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Indiana Pacers drives to the basket against the Denver Nuggets on March 24, 2019 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Image: Bojan Bogdanovic went 5-for-6 from three-point range as he led the Pacers to victory over the Nuggets

Bogdanovic shot 13 for 16 overall and 5-for-6 on three-pointers en route to the third-most points of his career and the second-most this season.

Turner finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Sabonis collected 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds as the Pacers allowed their second-fewest points this season.

Nikola Jokic flirted with a triple-double in his 30 minutes with 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Denver. He also had four blocks.

Will Barton (15 points), Monte Morris (12) and Gary Harris (11) also scored in double figures for the Nuggets, who were limited to 35.5 percent shooting overall and connected on just seven of their 29 three-pointers.

Houston Rockets 113-90 New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans v Houston Rockets NBA 1:45
Highlights from the NBA as Houston Rockets took on New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center

James Harden scored 28 points as the Houston Rockets clinched a playoff berth with a 113-90 victory over the host New Orleans Pelicans.

Harden, who leads the NBA with an average of 36.4 points per game, didn't sustain the pace that saw him score a combined 118 points in the previous two games, but he didn't need to.

He played just 29 minutes as the Rockets rolled to a 14-point lead at the end of the first quarter and cruised to their 14th victory in 16 games and remained in third place in the Western Conference.

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans on March 24, 2019 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana
Image: James Harden scored an efficient 28 points as the Houston Rockets eased past the New Orleans Pelicans

After scoring 57 points in an overtime loss at Memphis last Wednesday and tying a career-high with 61 points in a home victory against San Antonio on Friday, Harden made 10 of 19 shots, including 6 of 12 on 3-point attempts as Houston made 21 of 49 treys.

Harden was supported by two former Pelicans guards as Eric Gordon added 18 points and Chris Paul had 10 points and 13 assists. Danuel House Jr. scored 14 points and P.J. Tucker and Kenneth Faried scored 11 each. Clint Capela added 17 rebounds to go with eight points.

Frank Jackson scored 19 points, Julius Randle added 15, Stanley Johnson scored 13 and Anthony Davis had 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pelicans, who lost for the eighth time in nine games as they played the opener of a five-game homestand.

Charlotte Hornets 115-114 Toronto Raptors

NBA Charlotte Hornets v Toronto Raptors 2:28
Highlights from the NBA as Charlotte Hornets took on Toronto Raptors at the Scotiabank Arena

Jeremy Lamb's desperation 48-foot three-pointer at the buzzer gave the visiting Charlotte Hornets a 115-114 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

After the Raptors trailed by 14 points less than a minute into the fourth quarter, Kawhi Leonard gave them the lead on a jumper with 45 seconds left, then made a block at the other end.

But the Hornets had one big play left in them, and they won their third straight game.

Jeremy Lamb #3 of the Charlotte Hornets drives through the paint during the game against Danny Green #14 of the Toronto Raptors on March 24, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Image: Jeremy Lamb made one of the plays of the season with a half-court buzzer-beater to win it for the Charlotte Hornets

Kemba Walker scored 15 points and added 13 assists and eight rebounds for the Hornets, who were led in scoring by 20 from Dwayne Bacon. Miles Bridges finished with 16 points, Willy Hernangomez and Lamb had 13 each, and Devonte' Graham and Marvin Williams 10 points each.

Leonard had 28 points for Toronto, Pascal Siakam added 23, Marc Gasol had 17, Fred VanVleet 12, and Normal Powell and Serge Ibaka had 10 each.

The Raptors led by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, but the Hornets turned the tables and took a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter, before the dramatic finale ensued.

Sacramento Kings 106-111 Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings 1:11
Highlights from the NBA as Sacramento Kings took on Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center

LeBron James had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 111-106 win against the visiting Sacramento Kings.

Kyle Kuzma also scored 29 points and JaVale McGee overcame early foul trouble to finish with 17 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks for the Lakers, who ended a five-game losing streak.

Marvin Bagley III had 25 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Kings, who fell 6 1/2 games behind the San Antonio Spurs for eighth place in the Western Conference with nine games left.

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to pass the ball during the game against Corey Brewer #33 of the Sacramento Kings on March 24, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
Image: LeBron James' triple-double helped the Los Angeles Lakers end a five-game losing streak

Buddy Hield, who broke the Sacramento single-season franchise record for three-pointers on Saturday night, shot 5-for-11 from beyond the arc and scored 18 points, and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 17 points off the bench.

The Lakers led by 15 points after McGee scored on a hook shot with 10:51 left in the game, but Bagley and Bogdanovic helped pull the Kings within two points with 6:09 remaining.

That was as close as they would get, however. James made all six free throws in the final 38 seconds to seal the win.

Cleveland Cavaliers 105-127 Milwaukee Bucks

NBA Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers 1:22
Highlights from the NBA as Cleveland Cavaliers took on Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum

Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks posted a 127-105 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

George Hill and Khris Middleton each had 17 points, and Brook Lopez scored all 14 of his points in the first half for the Bucks, who avenged a 107-102 setback to the Cavaliers on Wednesday.

Antetokounmpo sat out that contest with an ankle injury, but he made his presence felt on Sunday by shooting 11-for-16 from the floor and adding seven assists and four blocks.

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 24, 2019 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Image: Giannis Antetokounmpo had eight dunks during the Milwaukee Bucks victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers

Tony Snell finished with 12 points, but played sparingly after colliding with Cleveland's Cedi Osman midway into the third quarter.

Kevin Love highlighted his 20-point performance with four three-pointers and added 19 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who fell to 6-30 away from home. Jordan Clarkson scored 19 points, and rookie Collin Sexton added 18 in the loss.

Hill scored Milwaukee's last five points of the third quarter and added a jumper as part of a 7-2 run to begin the fourth as the Bucks claimed a 97-79 lead. Eric Bledsoe sandwiched a pair of three-pointers around Antetokounmpo's eighth dunk of the game to put the contest out of reach.

Los Angeles Clippers 124-113 New York Knicks

Danilo Gallinari lofts a jump shot against the Knicks 2:07
Highlights of the Los Angeles Clippers' visit to the New York Knicks in week 23 of the NBA

Lou Williams scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the surging Los Angeles Clippers ran their winning streak to five games with a 124-113 victory over the New York Knicks.

Danilo Gallinari added 26 points and hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 4:12 remaining to hand his former team their 60th loss of the season.

Williams scored 12 points in Los Angeles' 21-9 game-ending run by hitting two three-pointers, two jumpers and two free throws.

Gallinari reached 20 points for a career-high ninth straight game and sparked the run with a wide-open three-pointer from the left wing, as Los Angeles won for the 10th time in 11 games.

Lou Williams shoots over Emmanuel Mudiay at Madison Square Garden
Image: Lou Williams led a fourth-quarter surge for the Los Angeles Clippers against the New York Knicks

Harrell added 24 points for the Clippers, who shot 44.2 per cent and hit 15 three-pointers while beating the Knicks for the 13th time in 14 meetings.

The Knicks (14-60) lost their fourth straight game and for the 12th time in 13 games since February 26. The Knicks must win at least three of their eight remaining games to avoid tying or exceeding the worst record in team history.

Emmanuel Mudiay led the Knicks with 26 points while former Clippers center DeAndre Jordan totaled 20 points and 13 rebounds. Dotson added 18 but the Knicks missed five of their last seven shots and committed two turnovers in the final 4:24.

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