Stephen Curry scored 16 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter as the Golden State Warriors held on for a much-needed 124-120 NBA victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Curry made seven of seven attempts in the final period and Klay Thompson made a pair of key three-pointers in the last four minutes as the Warriors − who had led by as many as 18 points − avoided a second-half collapse and ended their three-game losing streak.
Cam Thomas scored 41 points and Spencer Dinwiddie added 16 for the Nets, who took their first lead since the first quarter on Mikal Bridges’s three-pointer with 9:12 left in the fourth quarter.
After a tense exchange of leads, a Curry layup gave the Warriors a one-point lead with 6:46 remaining and they wouldn’t trail again.
It was a morale-boosting win for a Warriors team that has struggled to hang on to leads, and which is still digesting the indefinite suspension of star Draymond Green after he struck Phoenix’s Jusuf Nurkic while flailing his arms in the latest in a long line of on-court incidents.
“It’s been a lot of conversations, a lot of noise around us,” Curry said.
“The game of basketball presents a lot of challenges on the court, but the friendships that you have and the connections that you have − especially with a guy like Draymond who we’ve been to war with for over a decade − all that stuff does weigh on you.”
In Denver, Nikola Jokic and the reigning champion Nuggets couldn’t hold off the Oklahoma City Thunder, who triumphed 118-117 on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s turnaround jump shot with 1.4 seconds remaining.
Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 25 points, Jalen Williams added 24 and rookie Chet Holmgren had 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine blocked shots for the Thunder.
Jokic had 24 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who led by eight points with 3:33 to play but lost at home for just the second time this season.
Keegan Murray was the star in Sacramento, draining 12 three-pointers − two shy of Warriors star Thompson’s NBA single-game record − on the way to 47 points in the Kings’ 125-104 victory over the Utah Jazz.
King missed just one of his first 13 attempts from beyond the arc, setting a record with 11 straight, but missed his last two.
In Minneapolis, Karl-Anthony Towns scored a season-high 40 points and pulled down 12 rebounds and Anthony Edwards added 37 points for the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 127-109 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Jimmy Butler was the hero in Miami, drilling a step-back jump shot as time expired to lift the Heat to a 118-116 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Butler finished with 28 points to lead the Heat, who were again without injured Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro.
DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 27 points and Patrick Williams added 25 in a tense game that featured four lead changes in the fourth quarter.
In Portland, Luka Doncic delivered 40 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 131-120 victory over the Trail Blazers.
Doncic scored 30 points in the first half and had his fifth triple-double of the season secured in the third quarter.
Things were even easier for Eastern Conference contenders Milwaukee and Philadelphia, who both posted blowout wins.
Damian Lillard scored 33 points, Bobby Portis added 31 off the bench and Giannis Antetokounmpo chipped in 22 points with eight rebounds and six assists as the Bucks handed the hapless Detroit Pistons their 23rd straight defeat, 146-114.
Milwaukee out-scored the Pistons 43-20 in the first quarter, and Detroit didn’t get the deficit below 18 points the rest of the way.
The 76ers, fueled by 42 points and 15 rebounds from reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid, crushed the Hornets 135-82 in Charlotte.
It was the largest margin of victory in the league this season, topping Boston’s 51-point win over Indiana last month.
Embiid notched his 10th straight game with 30 points and 10 rebounds despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter along with the rest of the Sixers starters. − Reuters.