Warriors halt their slide

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris during the Cavs' 128-96 win on Tuesday.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris during the Cavs' 128-96 win on Tuesday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Late fightback against 76ers puts an end to losing streak; rivals Cavs easily beat Pistons

OAKLAND • The Philadelphia 76ers were not in a generous mood on Stephen Curry's 29th birthday on Tuesday night. Fortunately for the Golden State Warriors, Curry invited Draymond Green to the party.

Curry saved 12 of his NBA game-high 29 points for a fourth-quarter rally, and Green spearheaded a defensive effort that provided his team-mate the gift of a 106-104 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers that halted their three-game losing streak.

"We had certain expectations coming home," said Curry, whose team struggled through a stretch of eight games in eight cities. "After what we went through, everything would go our way. It would be picture perfect."

Instead, Curry added, "It reminded us how important our defence is. A lot of focus has been on us not making shots. You can't let that affect the other end of the floor. In the fourth quarter, we showed it."

Klay Thompson had 28 points and Green 20 for Golden State (53-14), who moved half a game up on the idle San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the league.

Green had eight rebounds, eight assists, six blocked shots and four steals. "I just knew our shots aren't falling right now, and it's not going to be pretty," he said. "We just have to grind it out."

Golden State did just that, rallying from a 16-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the 76ers for an eighth consecutive time and complete a season-series sweep.

"It hurts. It should hurt," 76ers coach Brett Brown said. "We were in a position on the road to try to get a great win. I think that our young guys will learn from this, but it stings. And it should sting."

In Cleveland, LeBron James posted another triple-double and Larry Sanders saw his first NBA action in more than two years as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Detroit Pistons 128-96 on Tuesday.

James finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in 28 minutes, and sat out the fourth quarter.

The 32-year-old has four triple-doubles this month, including three in his past four games. He compiled a career-high 10 this season and has 52 triple-doubles over 14 seasons - excluding play-offs.

"He hasn't done anything different," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "He's almost averaging a triple-double. I think he's averaging 26 (points), nine (assists), and eight (rebounds). That's almost a triple-double every single night.

"He's been in a great rhythm these last couple months and playing well."

Kyrie Irving was Cleveland's leading scorer with 26 points.

The Pistons (33-34) were led by 17 points from Tobias Harris.

Cleveland avenged a 106-101 loss to the Pistons on March 9. They made 19 three-pointers, well short of the NBA-record 25 treys they sank on March 3 but good enough for the most three-pointers Detroit has allowed this season.

"It was just a bad night," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. "They were great, we were terrible. That is why you get a lopsided game."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2017, with the headline 'Warriors halt their slide'. Print Edition | Subscribe