NBA: Long-range radar goes missing

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant outpaces Robert Covington of the Philadelphia 76ers during the 119-108 victory Durant led the Warriors with 27 points, while Klay Thompson contributed 21.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant outpaces Robert Covington of the Philadelphia 76ers during the 119-108 victory Durant led the Warriors with 27 points, while Klay Thompson contributed 21.PHOTO: REUTERS

Three-point drought for Curry but Durant, Thompson ensure victory against 76ers

PHILADELPHIA • The Golden State Warriors, deserted by their long-range touch on Monday night, were nonetheless able to grind out a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Kevin Durant, back after missing the previous game with a bruised left hand, scored 27 points and Klay Thompson added 21 as the Warriors beat the Sixers 119-108.

Golden State, who improved their NBA-best record to 50-9, did so despite missing 23 of 29 three-point attempts.

"Just didn't fall for us tonight," Thompson said. "Happens. Just have to move on."

The Warriors compensated, shooting 56.7 per cent on two-point shots, making 29 of 33 free throws, outscoring Philadelphia 62-48 on points in the paint and turning 23 Sixers turnovers into 23 points.

"I thought we played a really good game," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. "We just couldn't make a shot. But we made up for it by getting to the free-throw line."

The Warriors began the night shooting 38.9 per cent from three-point range, the second-best rate in the league, but missed 15 of 16 attempts in the first half and 22 of their first 25 in the game.

All-Star guard Stephen Curry, who finished with 19 points on seven-of-23 shooting, missed all 11 of his three-point tries. It was just the third time in 211 games he failed to connect on any three-point shots.

That includes a league-record streak of 157 games with one or more triples, snapped on Nov 4 against the Lakers.

"I forgot to adjust to the thickness of the air," Curry joked. "It happens, but you have to find other ways to impact the game."

Sixers coach Brett Brown dismissed Curry's struggles as being more the result of an off night than anything the Sixers did defensively.

"At times, we got lucky with them as a team," Brown said. "They didn't shoot it the way a team would normally shoot it."

Others picked up the slack for Golden State, who won their fourth straight game and their seventh in eight games.

Zaza Pachulia scored a season-high 16 points, and Draymond Green contributed 14 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and five steals.

"When you take away something, something else gets exposed," Brown said. "It's hard to guard everything."

Golden State, who set a league record by going 73-9 last season, became the second team to post their 50th victory before their 60th game in consecutive seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

In Cleveland, LeBron James shrugged off his recent illness to post 24 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers outlasted the Milwaukee Bucks 102-95.

Reigning NBA finals MVP James added 10 rebounds and six assists as Cleveland bounced back from Saturday's defeat to the Chicago Bulls to cement their place at the top of the Eastern Conference.

The Cavaliers improved to 41-17 with the win as they completed a strong (9-2) February.

Coach Tyronn Lue said James' return had been pivotal. The Cavs are 0-4 without James this season.

"What would anybody's team be without their best player," said Lue. "And with him being the best player in the world, he brings so much to our team."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2017, with the headline 'Long-range radar goes missing'. Print Edition | Subscribe